Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 12/4/2008
Series: Harry Potter Series
Age range: 9 – 12 Years
Product dimensions: 5.40 w x 8.40 h x 0.60 d
Barnes and Noble: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5/5 Stars
by Christina Lydia
Despite the fact that J.K. Rowling’s reputation for “hogging attention” has been viewed as malevolent, it is difficult for readers of literature and YA stories to see Rowling’s writing as nothing less than marvelous. As such, readers reading the short story “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” will appreciate the simplicity in its tone as well as its ability to capture a special moment in such a few words.
Every year in “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” an unfortunate individual is given the opportunity to tread towards the fountain to receive fair fortune. Three witches and one knight find themselves being the individuals that are able to gain entry past the wall, towards the fountain’s benison. After completing three tasks that guard the fountain, one witch named Asha, who is sick, collapses from exhaustion. A second witch, named Athelda, aids Asha by curing her of her ailment; by doing so, she realizes that she could make good money by making her own cures. The third witch, named Amata, refuses to bathe in the fountain’s waters since the memory of her broken heart disappeared and she no longer feels the need to be aided by its waters. Lastly, the knight, named Sir Luckless, becomes the chosen person to bathe in the waters. After bathing, he falls in love with Amata, who gladly accepts him. As the four leave the fountain, the narrator reveals that the fountain was not magical but that the people who believed in its magic made it real. The End.
One reason why “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” is pretty awesome is the fact that its audience is for the fictional world of Harry Potter and their children. Yet, this short story is familiar in many ways in that one doesn’t have to be part of that fictional world for one to recognize its moral attributes. The ability for one to recognize and appreciate the people, skills, and opportunities that are in front of them is one main attribute highlighted in this short story. Each witch realizes that by utilizing their agency, they are able to solve their own problems. The knight, Sir Luckless, was not “luckless” when he went with the three witches to pass the wall to the fair fountain; He found his “luck” by believing in himself, thereby feeling worthy of falling in love with a beautiful witch. All four characters in this short story exhibit attitudes and actions that are familiar and can easily be replicated. It is, in its core, a moral story that reminds readers of a few virtues that can easily be forgotten.