'Harry Potter' Parody Imagines an Alternate Timeline, Harry & Ron as Con Artist Slackers

It's one of the seminal moments of the Harry Potter series: when the newly minted boy wizard arrives at Hogwarts and squares off with the Sorting Hat, insisting that he belongs in Gryffindor, not Slytherin — good, not evil. Plenty of fans have pondered what might have happened had things gone the other way — all the better for producing some juicy Harry/Draco slashfic — but few have asked the more obvious question: What if the Boy Who Lived panicked in the face of the prophecy, uttered a cosmic "fuck it all," and got out as fast as his broom could carry him? Enter Cracked.com's Welcome Back, Potter, a new webseries that offers a glimpse at one such alternate timeline, in which, rather than fight He Who Must Not Be Named, Harry and Ron fled to America. Having changed their names to Jarry and Don, they now spend their days drugging and conning muggles à la Hunter Thompson and Pauly D. Stars Michael Swaim and Daniel O'Brien (together again, post- Agents of Cracked ) revel in the clash between Rowling-verse tropes and modern slackery — how even Jamba Juice won't accept galleons, even wizards can't figure out Siri — while also rewarding watchful Potter fans with clever in-jokes. (See: the visual gag of "butter beer.")

Mostly, though, the joy of the series is in the sheer fact of its premise unfolding: a classic capital-H Hero stripped of his derring do and plunged straight into Fear and Loathing-style schlubdom, snorting floo powder and using magic as a glorified TV remote — a reminder that, honestly, this is probably how a normal preteen boy would react to the news that he was the sole magical savior of all wizard-kind. (That is, badly.)

Watch the first two episodes below, and look out for the third and final installment (at least for now) soon to air on Cracked.com.

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Image: Cracked.com