The following is the first of a new series pitting the merits and abilities of similar characters against each other. We open with a disclosure of the personal bias of the author then outline some ground rules and end with an example of how a fight between the two might unfold.
Personal Bias: The popularity of JK Rowling’s series has cemented Harry Potter as the go-to magical youth. He is the modern personification of the fantasy genre. The perfect contrast to Potter would then be the boy who personifies science fiction, Ender Wiggin of Orson Scott Card’s novel ‘Ender’s Game‘. The two characters have a great deal in common–both are children with the fate of their kind resting on their shoulders. I prefer ‘Ender’s Game’ over any single Harry Potter book, but I can’t argue that the Potter series as a whole succeeds on a level that the Ender series of books does not.
Ground Rules: The Goblet of Fire follows Harry into a series of trials that place him in a mindset that parallels Ender’s nicely. For my purposes the version of Harry with the skills and experience gained from this book and those previous will be used. The Ender used will be the one post ‘Ender’s Game’ and before ‘Speaker for the Dead’. This will allow the two characters to be roughly the same age. Ender will not have the assistance of his friend and database intelligence, Jane. The surroundings will compliment Ender in that the arena is the Battle School’s gravity free training room complete with the immobile obstacles called “astroids” for cover. Ender will have a blaster and Harry will have his wand. They enter the arena at opposite gates, neither with a clear view of the opposing gate.
Fight! Harry enters the room apprehensively. With all his broom flight experience, floating in Zero-G feels more like swimming than flying. The gate behind him closes and he is forced to step forward. Harry isn’t clear how to move, but knows that floating motionlessly makes him a target. Harry points to the asteroid ahead and exclaims “Engorgio!” The obstacle grows until it makes contact with the four walls and divides the room in two. The asteroid doesn’t completely segregate himself from his opponent, however. There are two openings between the walls and the asteroid that are still large enough for a boy to pass.
At this point Harry has drifted far enough to make contact with the giant asteroid. It occurs to him that he can push off the side of it for propulsion. He grabs hold and pushes upward sending him down to the “floor” of the room and near one of the openings. He points is ward back and forth to the two passages to the enemy’s gate.
Just then Ender shoots out of the far passage and flips over to survey the room. A string of light comes from Harry’s wand as he yells “Stupefy!” and gives away his location. The spell misses its target. Harry is amazed the boy can move so fast in this environment without a broom.
Ender fires two shots before landing on the wall of Harry’s gate and pushing off again. The first shot misses and the second clips Harry’s leg. Harry ducks into the passage to the other side for cover. Ender hurtles toward the giant boulder intending to push off at an angle for the kill shot when “Reducio!” the asteroid shrinks back to its original size and leaves Ender exposed in the air for the first time.
Harry takes aim slightly ahead of his drifting foe and says “Expelliarmus!” Ender’s weapon is flung from his hand.
Ender grabs hold of another asteroid for cover. There he spots his weapon floating out in the open directly above Potter. Ender figures that his opponent could easily retrieve the gun by either jumping to gather it or by some form of magic. Ender believes that the blaster is being used to bait him out of his safe haven. Forsaking his weapon, Ender kicks off the asteroid and reorients himself with the enemy gate. While Harry is focusing on his trap, pointing his wand at the gun, he is tackled by a quickly descending Ender from the opposite direction.
The two boys hurdle off the wall, Ender holding Potter in a half-Nelson. Harry begins a spell, but Ender rips the wand out of his opponent’s hand. Harry turns in an attempt to kick Ender in the groin, but their bodies are pulled too close for any leverage. Ender deflects Harry’s last effort to push away and head butts Potter with all his strength, knocking him unconscious.
Results: Ender wins. One might say having them fight at the Battle School was an unfair advantage for Ender, but having them fight anywhere else with Harry able to use his wand would also be unfair. I imagine any fight with both boys totally unarmed would end with Ender as the last boy standing.