26. That is what Harry is, forever 26. It took Harry a few years to realise it, but it soon became apparent that he wasn't aging. He thought he knew what it meant to be Master of Death, he thought that at the next moment of his demise he would have a choice to survive or move on, to board the train. He was wrong. Nine years after the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry had reached his physical peak and ever since he hadn't aged. Harry had always thought that being the Master of Death would mean he had a choice in his immortality, but no his immortality was part of him now. Harry Potter would never die.
As his friends went on with their lives Harry charmed his appearance to match their age, he didn't want anyone asking questions, even Ron and Hermione. Harry was determined though, he thought that he could experience whatever his friends were doing even if he would eventually outlive them. Harry quickly became the head of the Auror office at the newly founded United Kingdom Magical Government. In the wake of the war the Ministry of Magic had been disbanded and the wizards and witches of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales formed the United Kingdom Magical Government, a government that encompassed all of the United Kingdom and not just Britain. The United Kingdom Magical Government had sought out the survivors of the war and put them in law enforcement positions soon after its formation. Harry had agreed to take the position of an Auror officer, mainly because he wanted to do something and not just stew in his immortality. But by taking the position of Auror, Harry unwittingly became the poster boy for the new Government and with Ron, Neville, Seamus, Dean with him they all became famous as the heroes of the United Kingdom. Harry, Ron and Neville had all been raised in Britain, while Seamus and Dean had been raised in Wales and Ireland respectively. All of them being educated in Scotland made sure that the new Government's Auror department pleased all members of the new combined members of the United Kingdom wizarding population and that they appealed to all four quadrants of the new government. While all of them recognised their positions and purposes, they all made sure that they did a good job to back it up, as such it didn't take Harry long to achieve the position of Head Auror.
At 28 Harry left the Auror department leaving Justin Finch-Fletchley as his successor. Harry had no concerns about leaving the government, since its formation the majority of the government consisted of the younger generation. This generation modernised the wizarding world for the better, they were instrumental in the formation of the United Wizarding Parties of the World conference, modelled after the United Nations and the introduction of technology into the wizarding world. Harry growing up in the muggle world understood that technology couldn't be used at Hogwarts because of magical interference, but he never understood why they used quills instead of pens or parchment instead of notebooks. When Harry offhandedly mentioned this to the United Kingdom Magical Government Leadership Council which consisted of the leaders of magical England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the magical leader of England being his friend Kingsley Shacklebolt, his comment surprised them in a way that he hadn't expected. It seemed that the wizarding world's motto had been "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", this led to the introduction of modern practices into the wizarding world and began the research into magically compatible technology which would be successfully achieved within six years.
Leaving the government Harry was content in his accomplishments and hoped that they would stick after his departure. Harry had been the last one to leave the government, all his friends had moved onto other things. They had all said that they weren't really government employees, but that they were just helping the wizarding world back onto its feet. Ron had joined George in Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and now operated the Hogsmeade branch. Neville had accepted a Herbology apprenticeship under Professor Sprout whom was looking to retire and wanted Neville to take over at that point. Dean had become assistant editor at the Daily Prophet and was looking at the promotion to editor in a couple of years. Seamus had taken the position of Wizarding Sport Correspondent which meant that he toured the Quidditch circuit as a commentator for the WWN and often wrote for the Prophet on the subject.
Harry's friends had also reached milestones in their personal lives. Ron was married to Hermione and Neville was engaged to be married in Autumn. Dean had been living with his girlfriend for about a year and Seamus was a single father. Harry had always envisioned himself with a family, something he didn't have as a child. But he was hesitant to start a family that he would eventually outlive. Unfortunately, Harry's girlfriends had read his attitude as him being non-committal. Harry had dated Ginny on-and-off for a few years, everyone had thought they would end up together, but eventually Ginny wanted to get married and be a mother, so they broke up. Harry and Ginny were still friends despite their break up which confused their friends, but Harry said that just because they weren't meant to be, didn't mean they couldn't be something else. Harry had subsequently had a causal relationship with Parvati Patil, they both knew it wasn't serious and just fun, ultimately their relationship boiled down to sex. Eventually Parvati's radio show went national and she began constantly touring and they both decided that they should put an end to their relationship because of her schedule. Harry and Cho had gotten together for a few months until her parents got into her head that she shouldn't be with someone who didn't want to get married. Last Harry heard about Cho was that she had a baby with some artist, she named her baby Cedric. While that slightly disturbed Harry, he was just glad she didn't named him Harry, god knows there were enough Harrys, Harolds and Harriets out there now after the war. Harry had currently been enjoying a causal relationship with Gabrielle Delacour, a downright sexy woman with virtually zero inhibitions. Gabrielle, or Ella as Harry called her could never settle on a single relationship with a guy, despite wanting to marry someone she stated that none of her suitors were as fun as Harry.
Harry never had an official occupation after being an Auror. The papers referred to him as an adventurer, explorer, zoologist, magizoologist and photographer among others. After working off a hangover by helping Hagrid carve the Hallowe'en pumpkins, Harry had rediscovered his interest in magical creatures while chatting with Hagrid. Harry had subsequently travelled all over the United Kingdom exploring places that many had not and observing the magical and non-magical species that lived there. Harry's photographs had been published in many newspapers and his research had been incorporated into the Care of Magical Creatures classes at Hogwarts and other schools around the world. Harry sometimes spoke in the sixth and seventh year classes of Hagrid's subject which he thoroughly enjoyed. Despite Harry altering his appearance to make it look like his supposed age which nowadays would be just shy of forty, he still often had young twenty-somethings ask suggestively if he wanted to take their photos.
It was at the Leaky Cauldron which was now managed by Neville and his wife Hannah Abbott that Harry got the inspiration for his next adventure. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville were all celebrating Hagrid's completion of his wizarding education. For the better part of six years Hagrid had been enrolled in a correspondence course aimed at wizards who had never finished their education for one reason or another. During his time at the ministry Harry had made sure that Hagrid got his wand fixed and a written apology from the minister of the time who had ordered Hagrid's wand to be snapped as Hagrid did not commit the crime that he was charged with. Harry vividly remembered the bone-crushing hug the Hagrid had given Harry and how happy he had been, but it was when Hagrid had mentioned that he wished it had happened all those years ago so that he could've finished school and been what Hagrid referred to as a proper wizard that Harry spearheaded the campaign to institute the correspondence course for people to finish their education at their own pace. After years and years of hard work Hagrid had officially become a "proper wizard", he stated that it was one of the happiest moments of his life. But it was when Charlie Weasley, who often wrote to Hagrid discussing various magical creatures, arrived at the celebration to surprise Hagrid with a framed moving wizard photograph of Norbetta with her new batch of hatchlings which gave Harry inspiration.
Dean had written to Harry a few days earlier about the completion of a magic compatible video camera and asked if he wanted to take it for a few months on his next journey to test it out. The morning after Hagrid's graduation celebration Harry had replied to Dean that he would like to test the camera and planned to travel with Charlie Weasley back to Romania and make the dragons the subject of the film.
When Harry arrived in Romania he discovered that being the Master of Death had an effect on the dragons. Harry had suspected this during his travels, but could never confirm it. The dragons didn't show aggression towards Harry, it wasn't as if they were scared or submissive towards him but they knew that they couldn't hurt him and as such showed him respect. Charlie was amazed by Harry's skills with the dragons, but just chocked it up to his affinity with the species because of the Horntail incident. When Harry asked about the Hungarian Horntail that he faced in his fourth year, Charlie grimaced and confessed that she had contracted an illness a few months ago and passed away but not before she had laid a batch of eggs, although Charlie and the rest of the dragonkeepers were afraid that she had passed on the illness to her unborn and that they would never hatch.
Harry spent months filming the dragons, he sent some test footage to Dean who loved it and said that the film was a hit around the office and people wanted to see more wizarding films and that he hoped to edit the footage into a forty minute film to release to the public with Harry's permission. Harry had agreed to let Dean release the film, but asked if he could release it under a pseudonym. Harry had been wondering for a long time if his work was being so well liked just because he was Harry Potter, The Boy-Who-Lived or the Chosen One, this would put it to the test.
Six months after giving Dean his permission Harry received word that the first ever wizarding film was being released worldwide and the public was saying that the film's director Scott Ian, which was the pseudonym Dean had given Harry was rivalling the great Harry Potter as the modern wizarding world's greatest animal documentarian. Harry was giddy with his films success and that he had finally received praise for his work, not the praise of the Harry Potter's work. Due to popular demand Harry released a follow up film chronicling the hatching of the Horntail hatchlings. Three of the seven eggs hatched and only one survived past a week, Charlie had given the honour of naming the hatchling to Harry because Charlie joked that Harry was its mother due to the fact that the first thing it saw after hatching was Harry and it imprinted on him, Harry named him Flint. Dean said that the world loved the follow up and that they praised the director's emotional connection with Flint as the film accurately portrayed the struggle of the hatchling and the viewers cheered when it beat the illness and thrived as a newborn against the odds. Harry stayed with Flint for four years only returning home for special occasions and to see Teddy and sometimes Ella. On Flint's fourth birthday he was already fully grown and completely docile and loyal towards Harry, it was on that day that Harry climbed atop Flint's back and they flew, it was amazing and Harry captured the moment perfectly on camera. The footage that Harry sent to Dean from that day was worldwide news as Scott Ian had become the first ever dragon rider, while Harry, Ron and Hermione had once ridden a dragon before as had other wizards this was the first time a dragon willingly accepted a rider. That was when Scott Ian died, the editor from the American counterpart of the Daily Prophet had sent a photographer to get pictures of Scott Ian, who had never been photographed, and the American photographer got so much more. The photographer sold his images at an extremely high price to every magical newspaper in the world who wanted pictures not only of Scott Ian, but photos of him becoming the dragon rider.
The headlines all read that Harry Potter was the "Dragon Master" as the papers had dubbed him, the photographer had gotten high quality photographs that proved Scott Ian the dragon rider was none other than Harry Potter. Harry only stuck around a couple months after that, Flint while still completely loyal to Harry was ready to leave the nest, literally. Harry returned to his home in the Scottish country at the age of 56, the news that Harry Potter was the Dragon Master had made it hard for him to live in Grimauld Place anymore, and his new home had a spare room for Teddy when he and his wife Victorie Weasley came to visit and it was secluded enough for Flint to visit Harry which he did a couple of times year.
For twenty-six years Harry Potter disappeared from the public eye, he stopped exploring and photographing, he essentially retired after all that is what old men do. Harry Potter was 82 when he was next spotted by the papers. He was attending the joint funeral of his best friends Ron and Hermione, they had been killed by traditionalist wizards, an extremely small faction of wizards that refused to be modernised, they were mostly made up of the remaining members of the old pure blood families. The traditionalists made their views known that the old ways were the right ways and they were willing to kill for it, they had gone after Ron and Hermione because they along with Harry had been a large part of the modernisation of the wizarding world. Harry was distraught, they had just had dinner the night before, his best friends had been murdered and Harry couldn't even hurt those responsible because all two dozen members that made up the traditionalists were either killed in the firefight that occurred as they were leaving Ron and Hermione's home or tracked subsequently using knowledge from forcefully extracted memories to determine their location. Harry said everything he should have at the funeral and at the wake he said goodbye to all his friends and family, they asked why he was saying goodbye, the answer was that he was going away, far away, no camera, just him and they probably wouldn't see him again. Harry's friends understood and wished him well because they knew they couldn't follow him and he departed.
Harry's travels were an excuse, he essentially exiled himself because of the realisation that he was going to outlive all of his friends had hit home in a way that he couldn't ignore. Before departing he combed Hogwarts' Forbidden Forest, he wanted to find the Resurrection Stone, he wanted to talk to his friends again. It took Harry fourteen weeks to find it and that was with Grawp, his wife and kids as well as Firenze helping him, nevertheless he found it. He had been in the forest before when he taught with Hagrid, but it was now only because he was looking for it that the stone called to him. The stone knew its master was in need of its services, but after the fourteen weeks Harry only stored the stone in his mokeskin pouch that Hagrid had given him all those years ago. Once Harry had turned the stone, he sensed it, Ron and Hermione were happy in the afterlife, they didn't want to be called back, but on the other hand he also sensed that others were happy to be called, Sirius, Remus, Dumbledore and his parents among them. Harry thought that perhaps another time he might seek their counsel and guidance, perhaps.
It was when Harry was travelling through Australia that he saw something he didn't expect to ever see again. A magnificent bird, singing a magnificent tune. Fawkes. Harry hadn't seen Fawkes since the Battle of Hogwarts and had hoped that Fawkes had shacked up with some equally beautiful female phoenix and was living a happy life. Harry was gaping at the sight of the bird as it glided gracefully and landed atop Harry's shoulder. Fawkes nuzzled his long neck against Harry happily, Harry felt similarly.
Fawkes and Harry had been travelling companions now for close to two decades, perhaps out of loneliness, insanity or clarity Harry had begun talking with Fawkes. Harry and Fawkes were able to communicate to some extent as phoenixes were extremely intelligent and it seemed like they ought to chat, one immortal to another. Harry and Fawkes mainly stuck to unpopulated areas of the world in their travels, Harry had stopped charming his appearance and now looked like his peak twenty-six year old self, even though Harry was a century old, Fawkes and Harry had agreed that people would still recognise his scar so they avoided people in general. But they were soon faced with a reason to catch up with the magical world again. They found a herd of thestrals all lying dead on the floor of a forest in New Zealand, it was concerning. They could no longer find any kneazles in North America. Sheep became a rarity in Russia. Magical and non-magical creatures alike were dying. Fawkes and Harry needed to find out why.
Harry with Fawkes atop his shoulder apparated into Diagon Alley under the invisibility cloak, as soon as they apparated Harry was out of breath, but not from exhaustion, with Harry always in his peak physical form it was hard to make him puffed. He was breathing in dirty air, he looked up and saw what he had thought was regular British fog, but realised it was smog. After spending so much time away from civilisation in various countryside's, the cities had become polluted, Harry wondered if the pollution had something to do with the death of the animals, he progressed forwards with Fawkes atop his shoulder and he saw the posters. Posters plastered all across the walls of Diagon Alley, they read "Exodus - Humanities Only Chance of Survival is Across the Stars."
"Shit" was all Harry managed to say, Fawkes warbled in agreement.