Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling.

Martin Gabler had just turned 87. He could no longer walk and his eyesight was failing, but his hearing was as good as ever. He lay quite still on his bed in the nursing home, his breathing labored, listening for footsteps. He gazed around at the blandly furnished room, and the silence was deafening. On his bedside table sat a letter from an old friend, a stick of wood and six thick books piled one on top of the other.

A young nurse walked by his room and lifting his head, he croaked out, "Nurse! When will she be here?"

The pretty young red-head stopped and smiled kindly at the old man. She told him his visitor would be arriving within the hour. As she left, he nodded and relaxed. He extended his thin, veiny arm out and grasped the paper on his nightstand. He read it for the third time. Squinting, he made out the familiar yet wobbley scribble.

Dear Martin,

I hope I find you well. I have a suprise birthday present for you- my grandaughter Joanne has finished your story. Another bestseller, as usual. People love fairy tales. She has a gift with words, but it is your LIFE that inspires her. You can expect me to visit in the next week. I'll be coming on the train this Sunday. I shall bring the book along of course, to add to your collection. If we hadn't lived through the real thing, I'd tell you it was the best one yet. Happy birthday, Martin.

Yours forever,

Eugenie McDevitt

He smiled his melancholy smile and stared out the window. "People love fairy tales." he whispered. "If only they knew how true it all was."

He reached out and carefully fingered his wand on the table. The feel of it comforted him. He knew enough not to pick it up- at his age, too many things could go wrong with such a powerful wand. After he had accidentally set fire to a student volunteer, the nurses promised not to take it away, as long he had agreed he wouldn't pick it up.

'But they never said anything about touching,' he reasoned as he found the worn parts that fit his fingers exactly. He closed his eyes.

Once every July, Eugenie would come and read one of the series. When a new installment was released, she'd bring a copy for him and read that. Usually they just reread the old ones, but her yearly visit was eagerly anticipated just the same. It was their tradition.

Martin dozed off, dreaming of magical creatures, duels and battles, suprising betrayals and unlikely alliances, loves and losses...things only written down in a brand new book he'd never read or seen. Things he already knew all about. Things that were not imagined, things that were true.

The truth was, deep down he WISHED it were all made up, just a creation of some author's vivid imagination. But he had told that same story countless times, to his children, his friends children, and their grandchildren. He knew all too well just how real it was. It really was a remarkable tale, and he did a rather good job of telling it. But Eugenie's grandaughter had been right, his memory had begun to slip a few years back, and it all needed to be written down so it wasn't lost. The world needed to know of the horror- and the joy- he and those close to him had experienced.

Ralph McDevitt and Heloise Brice were his comrades in crime, his precious companions and greatest supporters- their written characters as Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger didn't do justice to the real people. But then, Martin supposed, it was impossible to accurately capture with words such selfless natures and fierce loyalty. Both were long gone now- he mused how ironic it was- they truly COULDN'T live without one another, as they had once stated. When Ralph was killed, Heloise had lasted three months before joining him- leaving Martin virtually alone.

"God forbid Heloise be left out of anything, " he mumbled vaguely.

And Ralph's younger sister, his first love, Genie McDevitt, was his only surviving friend. He jumped as she responded from his doorway. "Are you still bitter about that, Marty?" She smiled crookedly at him.

Martin grinned and let out a sigh. He noticed the package in her hands and pointed. "Genie. You brought it."

"Of course I did, I knew you couldn't wait to find out what happens to Harry next," she said with a wink, and helped him sit upright. She kissed his foreheard softly and then settled into a chair by his bed.

"Shall we begin?" she beamed over her spectacles at him, expertly masking her concern. He leaned back, closed his eyes and nodded.

They began their yearly ritual once more.


this is my first attempt at a serious story. if u dont understand it- basically "martin" is the real harry potter, "eugenie" is the real ginny, and "joanne" is supposed to be jk rowling, who is eugenie's grandaughter. She's been writing martin's story (the harry potter books), but she changed names. *please review*