Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley, J. K. Rowling
Disclaimer: Uh, copyrights and stuff are not mine. Rowling created these characters and stories ... at least as far as I know.
Summary: Harry Potter meets an author and discusses his life. (Yes, I know the timelines don't quite line up. Pretend they do.)
In the weeks following his defeat of Voldemort, Harry spent half his time wanting to be surrounded by his friends and half his time wanting to be alone. It was unfortunate that what he wanted at any given time was rarely what he had.
On one particular day, he was stopped by a woman outside the Leaky Cauldron. Usually, people who stopped him in the street were seeking autographs, but he was about to reach for his quill when he remembered he was on the Muggle side of the pub.
"Harry Potter, do you have a few minutes to talk?"
No good ever came of conversations with people who addressed him by his full name, but he was usually good at ridding himself of people quickly if he needed to. He had had to shake off Rita Skeeter at least a dozen times already.
Not wanting to show any real agreement or disagreement, Harry silently gestured towards the door to the Leaky Cauldron, hoping the woman would go inside, but her eyes seemed to pass right over it.
"You ... you're a Muggle?" he asked, sure that it was a safe question, if she knew who he was.
She hesitated. "Yes, I am," she finally answered.
The idea of a Muggle who didn't appear to be related to the Dursleys but still knew who Harry was actually made her appeal more to him, so he guided her into the pub, where they took a booth near the window.
"How do you know who I am, then?" he asked her as they sat down.
She was looking around curiously, taking in every sight and sound. She had clearly never been inside a wizarding pub, or likely any part of the wizarding world before.
"Even some of us Muggles got wind of your defeat of -- well, I don't really know his name, but everyone's been saying yours."
Harry laughed. "His name was --" he lowered his voice -- "Voldemort. People still don't like saying or hearing it."
"He must have been terrifying. That hurricane was him, wasn't it? That's not exactly normal weather for Britain. But some people are thick enough to deny what's right in front of them."
"The hurricane was giants. Under Voldemort's command." he explained simply.
"Well, of course," she said with a chuckle, not sounding very sure of it, but trying to sound like she fully believed every word he said.
"So why are you talking to me here in a wizard pub?"
"I want to write a book. You see --"
Harry stood up quickly and started to leave. He was tired of people trying to write his biography before he even turned 18.
"Wait, please," she said desperately. "You know I'm a Muggle. I'm writing a book for other Muggles. They don't know who you are."
"Have you heard of the Statute of Secrecy, er ..." he realised he didn't know the woman's name.
"Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. Jo Rowling," she said, holding out her hand.
Harry shook it, sat back down, and then continued.
"Look, I don't mean to be rude, but you can't write a book about me for Muggles. They aren't supposed to know about us at all."
"It's not meant to be a biography."
"You mean ..."
"I mean I'd like to base a novel on your story -- surely fiction would be more exciting than what you've actually done, right?"
Harry stared at her.
"All you know is I've defeated someone called Voldemort?"
"I know he was evil. Even we Muggles were taking notice, like I said."
"But you don't know what I've done or how it all came about. How do you know my life wasn't full of adventure and excitement?"
"Sometimes, yeah. Mostly my life was full of school, though. I don't think people will want to read about that."
"You're forgetting -- your real world is our fantasy world. You probably think of magic as everyday and ordinary, but to us, it's always exciting. That's what I mean. So yes, even your school might interest people."
"And you'd be willing to write that? Six years of magical schooling?"
She gasped. "Six years?"
"Six years. Hogwarts goes for seven, but I left after six so I could work on killing Voldemort."
"Why you, though? Wasn't everyone at war with him?"
"It would take me years to tell you the whole story."
"You don't need to include everything. This isn't a biography, so complete factual accuracy isn't the goal."
Harry considered this for a moment and then realised something. "So you could change some things to make it so no one really knows what the truth is -- I mean no one in our world. If they read a book about Harry Potter and Voldemort, they're going to know it's at least based on my life."
"Would I need to change anything, or would the idea that things might have been changed be enough to fool people?"
"Maybe do something with the name Weasley?"
"Weasley? That's a name?"
"That's a lot of names. Ginny, Ron, George, Percy, Charlie, Bill, and their parents, too."
"There are eight Weasleys?!"
"There are eight that I know personally. All red haired, too. And George was always kind of a practical joker -- liked to pretend he had a twin brother, Fred, who was really responsible for all the mischief he got up to. So maybe there were really nine Weasleys."
"I could write nine," Rowling told him with a grin. "I knew a set of twins once that were always pretending to be each other. Gred and Forge ... no, Fred and George, I mean."
Harry laughed. Rowling had a cleverness that he liked, and he was now led to believe she could do justice to his story, even if it was billed as Muggle fantasy.
"I suppose I could just give you my memory," said Harry seriously, but I don't know how, and I don't know if you could even use a Pensieve."
"Pensieve. It's a kind of magical basin you can view other people's memories in. Came in handy a few times. Also got me in a load of trouble once."
"Trouble will sell! What happened?" she asked excitedly.
Harry was reminded of Rita Skeeter's obsession with selling trouble, but decided that Rowling had to be mostly impartial, as she had very little reason not to. So he continued, "It was in my fifth year. I saw a memory Snape was trying to hide from me."
"Snape. Severus Snape. The Potions Master at Hogwarts."
"Maybe you should start at the beginning, Harry -- may I call you Harry?"
"Think you'd be sorted into Gryffindor, do you? Everyone else calls me Potter."
"All right, all right ... I suppose the story starts seventeen years ago, on a fairly dull, grey Tuesday ..."
Ten Years Later
"Do you think I'll die?" Harry asked.
"You can't die, Harry. The books are biographical, remember?" Hermione reminded him.
"That didn't stop her killing off Sirius, did it?"
"I really didn't like that part," said Ginny quietly.
"Yes, yes, Gin, we know you fancy Sirius, and --" Ron started, but he was interrupted.
"No, Ron, it's not that -- not that I do fancy him," she added, seeing Harry's raised eyebrows, "it was just horribly written. If you ask me, she lost her touch after the fourth book."
"I dunno, the sixth one was all right," said Ron.
"You're only saying that because you got to snog Lavender!" Hermione exclaimed.
"Yeah, and I got attacked by a flock of canaries over it, too. I really liked that, Hermione."
Hermione blushed but said nothing more on the subject. Harry knew this was because while Ron had never touched Lavender in his life, the part about him being attacked by Hermione's canaries was one hundred per cent accurate.
Harry assumed Rowling would again exaggerate his experiences in the seventh book. She always did, and he was sure that six months worth of camping with Ron and Hermione wouldn't make for very interesting reading, though he was sure she would make a big deal of his trip into Snape's memories and his mental conversation with Dumbledore. The nice thing about the books being fictional, he thought, was that his friends (and, he reminded himself, his enemies) would never really know which bits about him were true.
Hermione rolled her eyes as a very bushy-haired 12-year-old ran by wearing something that looked vaguely like Gryffindor robes. Harry had always been amazed at the efforts the Muggles put into their costumes to imitate him and his friends.
"We'd better queue up, it's nearly midnight," Ginny suggested, and the four of them moved into place among the crowd of Muggles, all eagerly anticipating the last book in the series, and anxiously discussing whether or not Snape was good, or whether Harry would live or die.
"Are we going to read this one together again?" Ron asked.
"It always takes too long that way," replied Hermione.
"That's only because you keep interrupting whenever Rowling says something about you that you don't like."
"Well, she's taken a lot more liberties with my character than the rest of you!" she insisted.
"So how many times have you read Hogwarts: A History, then?"
"Just the once, Ronald! Which is one more time than either you or Harry read it, I might add!"
Harry knew better than to say it, but he thought Rowling had managed to characterise Hermione fairly well, having only met her once and heard the rest from Harry's accounts.
The four of them each bought a copy of the book, and Harry made sure to get two more for Remus and Sirius, who were on holiday in Spain, where the book wasn't to be released for several more months. He just hoped his owl was up to the task of carrying two large books.
After Hermione helped Ron with the Muggle money ("It's not that difficult, Ronald, that one's twenty, see, it says '20' directly on it!") they left to read the final chapter in their own adventures.
As Harry and Ginny had the cosier home, they all sat down in their living room and began reading. The night was punctuated by shrieks, gasps, and screams, and the occasional giggle, and Harry found that he was able to keep pace with Ginny and Hermione fairly well (they compared every few hours, with those reading faster trying hard not to spoil the story for the others) and finally, at 9:30 in the morning, Ron snapped his book shut, accompanying it with a loud "Ha!"
"Congratulations, Ron, you've finished."
"Yeah, Chapter 36, anyway. Epilogues are optional, right? Like forewords and footnotes and such."
Ginny laughed. "Well, this one is. Honestly, I don't know what that woman was thinking. Albus Severus."
"Albus Severus?" Ron asked.
"Our son, apparently," said Harry, trying hard to suppress a chuckle. "We've also apparently got two others, James and Lily."
"Clever. Real clever. And why would you name your son after Snape? The way he treated you..."
"I know!" Ginny agreed. "He was rotten to all of us, even if he was a big damn hero. And that was in real life, not just the book! Besides, I can think of better people to name our kids after."
"Yeah, you should call one Myrtle, Harry!" Ron suggested.
"And I suppose you'll have a daughter called Lavender? Or maybe Romilda?"
"What if I have a son?
"VIKTOR!" Hermione, Harry and Ginny all said together.
"Please, I am so over ... well, all right, maybe."
They laughed. And laughed and laughed. In fact, over the course of their lives and their adventures, they hadn't really found very much funnier than the names Rowling had given to their children.
Even by the time Ron and Hermione left, Harry and Ginny were still giggling slightly. They sat down again and looked at each other.
"You wouldn't really name a kid Albus Severus, would you, Harry?" she asked him, still sounding only slightly serious.
"Wouldn't dream of it."
All was well.