TG/N: The timeline for this is loosely general season two, with inclusions of details from the following seasons that I really liked because that's apparently how I like the Office best. Behold the second most crack!tastic/fanwankiest thing I have ever written in this fandom. I will be adding one or two more chapters (depending on feedback :D). Enjoy!
Holds up a piece of parchment.
Jim: So I got my Hogwarts acceptance letter today.
He points at the crest printed on the lower right hand corner of the letter.
Jim: In all honesty, I really don't know how I feel about this. I guess mildly freaked out would be the main emotion I'm experiencing right now.
Jim: . . . Or unfettered excitement.
Dwight: There are no words, just . . .
He begins to cry—sobbing, in fact—careful not to get his own piece of parchment wet. Most of his speech is unintelligible, but a few words can be overheard.
Dwight: . . . happiest day of my life . . . except . . . Starbuck and Apollo . . . Grandvater . . . so proud . . . beets!
Jim tried to get back to work, but he couldn't focus. His mind kept going back to that letter. If he thought about it—and he was trying not to—he did vaguely remember seeing an owl this morning before work . . . But no! That was ridiculous.
In defeat, he let out an exasperated sigh and minimized the spreadsheet he was currently working on (something having to do with marginal utility in regards to customer satisfaction per ream of paper) with a pointed click of the mouse. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he made the familiar journey to the receptionist's desk.
"So you're not going to believe this, Pam, but I think—" He struggled to find a sane way to put things. "—I think I've been accepted at . . . Hogwarts."
For a moment Pam stayed silent, but then she reached under her desk, rummaged through some things, and held up a piece of parchment.
Jim frowned. "What's that?"
The corners of Pam's mouth tugged upward. "My acceptance letter."
Realization dawned. "Nice," Jim replied, a grin slowly making its way on his face, "I—"
"Okay, who did this?" Dwight demanded as he burst through the conference room door. Two tear streaks stained his face, and in his one hand, he held high a piece of parchment. When no one answered him, he continued angrily, "Whoever did this needs to confess right now, in front of everybody, and apologize for identity theft—I have been through the private records in this company countless times, and under no circumstances did I find one . . .'Albus P.W.B. Dumbledore'. Identity theft is a crime, people, and I will have no qualms about drawing and quartering whoever thought this was funny."
"Whoa, okay, first of all, Dwight, I'm pretty sure what you're doing with the private files is illegal. Those files are private for a reason," Jim pointed out, crossing his arms over his chest, "secondly—"
Michael: My whole life, I wanted to be a magician. The whole reason I even took this job was so that I could save up enough money to afford magic school, which is like clown school, except less lame.
He snort laughs before continuing.
Michael: My act is pretty good for where I am now. Tons of people have referred to me as a modern day David Blaine, which I think is pretty accurate considering how well my last escape from a straight jacket went. But with schooling, I could become even better; like a modern . . . er David Blaine. Honestly, this Hogwarts letter couldn't have come at a better time.
Michael, in a fake announcer's voice: And for my next trick, I will make Pam's top disappear!
He grins, then giggles.
"There's no 'secondly' about it, Jim," Dwight fired back with as much dignity as one can with tear streaks plastered on his face. "As Volunteer Sheriff's Deputy for Lackawanna County, I have the authority to execute unpopular methods for the sake of safety—"
"Ooh," Jim sharply inhaled, "I'm pretty sure that's false."
"—Identity theft is a serious issue, and should not be laughed at under any circumstances," Dwight continued, ignoring Jim completely. "Today's culture is saturated with it. Have you even seen those E*Trade commercials?"
Without warning, Angela poked her head out from behind the partition blocking accounting from reception to chime in, "You mean the ones with the talking babies?" She allowed a rare smile, though considering how much effort she had to put in to make the gesture, it looked more like a grimace. "I positively adore those commercials! Nothing reminds me more of God's beautiful handiwork than those amusing tots."
Dwight took a moment before snorting unattractively in her direction. She frowned. "False," he declared obnoxiously. "Those commercials are nothing more than a telling commentary on identity theft's lack of concern for the victim's income bracket and age."
At that precise moment, Michael exited his office, his personal piece of parchment poorly hidden in his left hand. "What's going on out here?" he wanted to know.
Pam, ever the office's voice of exposition, began to open her mouth, but Phyllis managed to grab the reigns first. She spun her chair around, casually tilting her head to the side. "Dwight was just explaining the threat of identity theft to us."
Michael scrunched his face up. "Oh, blech! It's like I've arrived at a yawn convention and a nerd convention at the same time. Next thing you know, he's going to start explaining the differences between robots and cyclones—"
"Cylons," Dwight and Jim chimed in simultaneously. At this realization, Jim smirked, and Dwight shot him an ugly look. Pam giggled.
Michael wore his own look of disbelief. "Oh, lame!" he scoffed. "It almost makes you wish someone had stolen both of their identities, so maybe they wouldn't be such nerds." Pam, as well as some of the other employees, laughed quietly. At the look on Dwight's face, Michael stopped laughing at his own joke and asked in a defeated manner, "Alright, Dwight, what's wrong?"
Dwight sniffed, then straightened as if glad that his problem was finally receiving the kind of attention it deserved in the first place. Before speaking, he sighed heavily and obnoxiously. "Someone in this office—and I'm not mentioning any names, Jim—obviously thought it would be hilarious to plagiarize a false Hogwarts acceptance letter—and Dumbledore's signature—in order to get a rise out of me." Switching into black ops mode, he looked both ways before adding in a hushed tone, so only Michael could hear, "This is particularly a breach of trust because everyone knows how I had to take a week off from work after reading the sixth book because it was too emotionally distressing. Like, Aerosmith's Cryin' distressing . . ."
Michael shook his head rapidly. "Yeah, God, okay, Dwight. Geez, just . . . you're not the only one that got a letter." He held up his own. "I got one, too."
This declaration sent Dwight's eyes brimming with tears again. "Oh, Michael . . ."
"So did I." Jim waved his letter in the air.
"Me, too," Pam added, sheepishly placing her letter on the ledge next to the jellybean bowl. Jim craned his neck and smiled at her. She smiled back.
Furiously, Dwight insisted, "That can't be right. Michael, do something!" But Michael decidedly ignored him. Instead, he posed a question to the entire office. "Who else got a Hogwarts acceptance letter this morning?"
An explosion of noise occurred as many of the employees began rummaging through desk drawers, purses, and various other places of storage. One by one, every hand in the office rose, clutching a letter. Eventually, even Angela raised her letter-grasping hand, after a large sigh and an eye roll, of course.
Angela, sardonically bitter: No, I don't care that I have been "accepted" into Hogwarts. Personally, I find it both distasteful and preposterous that everyone else in this office is allowing the joke to run as long as it has. I will in no way take part in this. Not only is magic distinctly satanic in its foundation, but have you heard about Equus?
Shakes head in remorse.
Angela: Thank the Lord America broke off from England when it did.
Creed, hands behind his head: Hogwarts? Oh, sure. I was accepted to Hogwarts years ago.
"Michael," Dwight spoke in a low, pleading voice. Even at a distance, the urgency in his voice was apparent, "it makes no sense that everyone in this office would be accepted at Hogwarts. The wizards in charge of admissions have a list of very specific talents and attributes they look for in their pupils, and you know as well as I do that the members of this office have nothing specifically outstanding about them."
"Hey," Kevin piped up defensively. "We're standing right here!"
Phyllis added, "Yes, Dwight. I'm not entirely sure that Volunteer Sheriff's deputy for Lackawanna County counts as anything 'specifically outstanding.'"
"Oh," Dwight retorted sourly, his mustard colored shirt clashing loudly with his olive green slacks, "and I suppose knitting does?"
A crescendoing murmur started among the whole office, the general consensus being positive.
"Well . . . yeah," Keven agreed hesitantly, shrugging.
"I mean, I would certainly consider knitting a skill," Oscar added at the same time, crossing his arms over his chest, "given the time and patience needed to . . ."
". . . how else would things like scarves and mittens be made?" Kelly interjected into the discussion. "I mean, one of my favorite pink sweaters was knit by my grandmother, or whatever. It's definitely a skill, Dwight."
Flustered and dismayed that not one of his coworkers agreed with him, he said defensively, "You people think knitting is a skill? You should see taxidermists in action. Now that is a skill. My great grandfather, Dwide Schrude—"
"Stop, Dwight. Just—blech—just quit it," Michael interrupted, both disgusted and completely uninterested in any more Schrute family history. Looking crestfallen, Dwight silenced himself and crossed his arms over his chest in a defensive way.
Not relishing the idea of Dwight retaliating with a five point sermon on the merits of taxidermy, Pam tentatively asked, "So what should we do, Michael? I mean, how do we even know if these letters are real?"
Dwight scoffed and rolled his eyes. Pam's expression faltered, admittedly hurt by his ungrateful response. Sure, they weren't best friends or anything even remotely as frightening, but over the past couple months, their relationship had shifted to something maybe like casual acquaintances? She couldn't be sure; if she thought about it too much, her brain hurt. In any case, Dwight had acted (up until this point, anyway) in what could only be described as a friendly manner in her presence. On one occasion, he had commented on her cardigan ("That's the same color as a sheep's bladder."), and once, when she had hastily admitted to Kelly that she sort of liked The Vampire Diaries ("Oh, my God, Pam! You are definitely my new best friend. If my solo career ever takes off, I will so mention you and this moment in the dedication section on my first album. So which brother do you think is hotter? I totally call dibs on Stefan!"), Dwight had overheard and said, "I do not hate that show. The vampire mythology is abysmal, obviously, but it has the kind of addicting storytelling that made Degrassi tolerable."
She hadn't mentioned it at the time, but Degrassi used to be one of her favorite shows. Before J.T. had died, of course.
Back to her original point, though. For Dwight to pay her any compliment was basically like him asking her to marry him. Which, ewww. Pam shuddered.
"Of course they're not real, Pam," Dwight scoffed. "Someone in this office just decided to play a cruel prank. Oh, gee"—He feigned aloofness.—"I wonder who in this office has an affinity for cruel pranks that have a statistically higher chance of making me their victim . . . Jim!"
Jim stifled a yawn and shook his head in disbelief. Pam wondered if he had been up too late playing the new Madden (who knew there was more than one?) again. She made a mental note to ask him about it later.
"I've already told you, Dwight, it wasn't me." Jim could not believe that of all mornings, this had to be the one where Dwight accused him of sending out fake Hogwarts' acceptance letters to everyone in the office. His brain refused to acknowledge the current situation as reality. First of all, if he had enough money to create exact replica letters for everyone in the office, he absolutely would not be working at Dunder Mifflin, that's for sure. And furthermore, he would never joke about a Hogwarts letter. He wanted one too badly. "These are real."
"Don't be stupid, Jim," Dwight snarled. He held out his letter, pinching it between his thumb and index finger and looked at it with disgust. "These letters are nothing more than—"
"No," Kelly interrupted him with an investigative glance at her own letter, "Jim's right. These are definitely real."
Completely dumbstruck, Dwight just stared at her. Kelly remained oblivious to his disbelief, instead haphazardly glancing at her nails and expressing disdain at one of them being chipped. When Dwight finally managed to recompose himself, he blurted rather rudely, "How would you know?"
Kelly: Back when Harry Potter was cool and everyone was super into it, I read the books. They were only up to, like, the fourth one at that time, but I was way into them. Well . . . not really, I was more into Draco Malfoy. I mean, if it wasn't way Twilight moms, I would totally have been all over Malfoy. He was super rich and super attractive and everyone just did what he said because they were too afraid to be mean right back.
She pauses briefly.
Kelly: He was basically like the fictional version of Christian Bale.
Kelly shrugged. "Ryan made me watch the movie . . . once," she added, just in case anyone mistakenly thought she was a nerd.
"What do you mean 'the' movie?" Dwight demanded, sounding highly affronted. "There are multiple mov—"
"The point is," Jim interrupted, desiring both an end to this ridiculous argument and enough time to make his annual sale of 1,000 reams of 8"x11" laser jet printing paper (color: eggshell) to Heritage Elementary School. They loved him over there, "the letters are real."
Kelly nodded, "Yeah, I mean, they have the Hogwarts seal, they're written on parchment, and"—She plucked a second piece of paper from her purse with her fuchsia tipped fingers.—"they even came with a booklist. Look."
Dwight snatched the list from her. The list included titles such as The Standard Book of Spells: Grade One by Miranda Goshawk, A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch, and One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore. Whoever had written these letters had a somewhat impressive grasp on the books, Dwight grudgingly admitted to himself.
"And," Jim added casually, not wanting to let too much nerd show, "the writer used emerald colored ink, just like the books describe."
Everyone in the office seemed to find the evidence substantial enough to accept that the letters were real. Oscar and Kevin even high-fived, while Pam tried to stifle a smile over Jim's dorkiness. She failed, but at least the camera was too busy filming a segment with Meredith to catch her on film.
Dwight, disgusted, thrust the booklist back at Kelly and crossed his arms over his chest. "Even if," he spat in such a way that sounded derogatory, but only so any glimmer of his hope could be extinguished, "these letters are real—which I'm not entirely willing to believe"—Everyone groaned.—"because someone with an extensive knowledge of Harry Potter"—He glared at Jim.—"could have forged them—why would Hogwarts, a school in Britain, accept us, Americans? I was under the impression, since the Quidditch World Cup in the fourth book, that each country had its own school."
Jim nodded, "Personally, I've always thought the school and the wizarding government would be in Salem, Massachusetts." Almost as if he realized what he had just said, he added hastily, "You know, if that stuff was real."
To his surprise, Dwight actually agreed with him. "Exactly my thoughts. And with her flowing black shawls and hypnotizing lyrics, there's no way Stevie Nicks isn't some kind of witch, possibly even a high ranking muggle relations liaison. Maybe even Minister of Magic—or President, probably—although, with all that exposure, that would be unlikely."
His eyes took on a bleary appearance, as if he was tuning out everything around him. His brain filter seemed to be completely missing as well. "The president would probably be someone recognizable, but not too overexposed. Someone like Edward James Olmos or Condoleezza Rice." He scoffed. "Obviously, Marilyn Manson is the American equivalent of Voldemort. Although . . . I wonder if most of the Baldwin brothers are squibs . . ."
Instead of rolling his eyes or even poking fun, Jim just nodded as if everything Dwight said made perfect sense. If anything was to blame, it was the fact that Jim hadn't talked Harry Potter in a long time. The consequence, apparently, was an inability to stop any of the things he was thinking from coming out of his mouth.
"You know," he added, lacing his fingers together behind his head, "I've always jokingly thought Lady Gaga could be a witch. It certainly would explain a lot, like all of her weird clothes. In the books, they're always saying how witches and wizards don't know how to dress as muggles. That's probably her problem. She was raised by a wizarding family and has no idea that any self respecting muggle would never wear a meat dress."
Unable to take it anymore, Michael had a fit. "NERDS!" he blurted, hands out. "Both of you! Gah, Jim, I expect this stuff from Dwight, but not from . . . how could you do this to me? To us? To our friendship?"
Stunned, Jim couldn't come up with a response to any of those questions, so he settled on giving a blank look in the camera's direction. Michael, on the other hand, looked like he might cry or recite the first ten minutes of Airplane! from memory—you could never tell with him. He shook his head, made a loud, exaggerated sigh, and tried to rectify the situation.
"Jim," he pleaded, "I thought you were cool! I can't be friends with a nerd, and even worse, a bookworm! And not even a sexy bookworm like Pam—" Upon being singled out and sexually harassed, Pam's face fell, and she raised her hands in a gesture of confusion and defeat. "—or would be like Pam if she would let her hair down and put some effort in every once in awhile. Oh, GAH! This is the worst. Nothing could be worse than this."
Toby entered the office through the break room door.
Michael's whole face fell. "Oh, yech! I stand corrected."
Michael, angrily: Well, if the rest of us are Harry Potter, then Toby is clearly Dolores Umbridge.
He sighs loudly and slightly obnoxiously.
Michael: I know enough about the series to know that nobody liked that character. Nobody. Not even the villains.
Ignoring him, Toby held up a piece of parchment, his expression unreadable. "Did anyone else get one of these?"
A general chorus of yes's echoed throughout the office. His assumptions confirmed, Toby made a facial gesture similar to a hint of a grin. "I'm impressed with how real these look," he admitted, turning the letter over in his hands. "The handwriting, the paper: it looks great. Who made these?"
"Oh, they're not fake," Kelly told him casually, with a flick of her hair. By this time, her consumer survey reports had been completely abandoned on her desk in the backroom. Judging by the number of flashing red lights coming from her phone, Kelly had stopped working at precisely the minute she began working. "See, they're actually—"
"No!" Michael interrupted, obviously fuming. He continued shooting glares of disgust in Toby's direction. "No. We've already been over this, and it was really boring and complicated the first time through. We're moving on, Toby. Stop being such a downer." He shifted his attention to the rest of his coworkers. "Now for everyone who does not hate the sound of children's laughter and fun in general, please gather in the conference room. We have to discuss traveling arrangements."
Everyone (minus Toby) begrudgingly made their way toward the conference room. Meredith allowed an audible, "Alright!" to exit her mouth.
Meredith: Sure, I've heard of Harry Potter. My kid was really into the books for awhile. At first, I was kind of concerned, but then I realized they kept him occupied while I indulged in . . . other activities.
She gives the camera guy a knowing and mildly uncomfortable (for him) glance.
Meredith: Am I excited? You bet your ass I'm excited! I got two words for you: Accio booze!
A smug grin covers her face, and she holds her hands up in a "Rock On" gesture.
Meredith: Ever since Jake mentioned Butterbeer and Firewhiskey, I made it my top priority to check online for any kind of fan recipes or any drinks that are remotely similar. Who'd have thought I'd have the chance to experience the real thing firsthand? I cannot wait.
Toby, in mild amusement: Are they really?
Toby: I'm not a huge fan—I'm more of a Lord of the Rings kind of guy—but I have watched one or two of the movies with my daughter. She seems to like them enough; well, mainly she likes the cat that one professor can change into.
He looks wistful.
Toby: Still . . . despite making all that time I spent in school look like a waste of time, being a wizard would be pretty cool. I could be like Gandalf. Me . . . Toby.
A grin emerges on his face, turning into a full-fledged smile.
Toby, smile faltering: Maybe I could obliviate all the memories of working here. You know, get some closure.