Stranger Than Fiction
Stranger than Fiction by Pseudonymous Entity
"ADVANTAGEOUS. An adjective.
Involving or creating favourable circumstances that increase the chances of success or effectiveness.
Summary: Harry receives a set of books on his birthday detailing the life of a boy with the same name. The summer he turns 11 Harry discovers not only does he share the main character's name - he IS the main character. The books tell the future! Now, what would a fairly clever 11-year-old who has lived a hard life do with this knowledge? Something responsible and mature for the greater good? Maybe not. Oh dear.
AN: And we're back on this particular adventure. As Harry is learning, the easiest way to trick or mislead smart people is to let them come to their own conclusion and not correct them.
ANx2: For those wondering, Percy has not forgotten Harry's 'evil rat' comment.
Pseu (Still good looking and reasonably talented]
"Hey, you, show me that solvable problem
we can get thru this I'll do the hardest part with you..."
-True Kinda Love
Harry stepped through the floo still not entirely sure whether he was really getting away with any changes or if Fate was simply biding her time.
Toying with him.
The past two days had done nothing to assuage Harry's uncertainty. There were moments he felt secure, almost smug. Almost immediately he pushed those thoughts out of his head lest Fate decided to snap her fingers and prove him wrong. Because, as much as he wanted to believe changing his destiny was possible the fact remained there was a legitimate prophecy stating otherwise. The only thing that reassured Harry was the fact there were only two people who knew the contents of the prophecy. Dumbledore and himself
And no one knew Harry knew.
Harry jumped and spun around.
Percy stood there looking him over. Without a word he brought out his wand and swished it in Harry's general direction. Harry let out a startled squealing noise as a cool breezy feeling flowed around His ankles, up to his legs, along the curves of his body, and over his face. It left a scrubbed, clean feeling behind.
Another swish and Harry's oversized hand me downs shrunk to fit him better.
As Harry was checking out the new fit, grinning at the display of magic, Percy sipped an outer robe around his shoulders. It was a slate gray colour and only a little too long.
"Better." Percy declared, looking him over once more. "Just one more thing."
He reached out and pulled a hood up over Harry's head to cast his face in shadow.
"Keep that hood up until I tell you otherwise, okay Harry? We don't want to bump into anyone unfortunate at the ministry."
Visions of the various Death Eaters roaming the halls of that building that managed to escape prison after the last wizarding world danced before Harry's eyes. One with long blonde hair in particular.
"Yeah, no kidding." He muttered.
Percy placed a hand on his shoulder and maneuvered Harry through the floo ahead of him. Harry caught on a moment too late to hear Percy murmur the address and was flying forward out the other end. The small wizard held out his arms to get his balance as he skidded to a stop on the marble floors.
Percy stepped out a moment later, not a hair out of place.
It seems this was one thing Harry and fictional Harry had in common. Not for long, Harry silently vowed. He wanted nothing to do with his other-self. Not even his clumsiness.
"Will you teach me how to do that with falling o my face?" Harry asked.
Percy blinked. "I think I can manage that. Now, follow me."
They walked up to a middle-aged wizard sitting at a desk and reading a magazine. He must have heard them coming because he pointed to the side and said "Wands please," in a bored tone."
Harry guess it wasn't the most exciting job in the world.
Percy had his wand checked out and soon they were passing through the main hall of the ministry of magic directly to the other side where a wall of elevators waited for them. Harry was ushered in first, with Percy following.
Harry nodded at the elf wearing a red coat standing to the side.
"Department of Mysteries," Percy answered. "Level Nine." The gates of the lift slid shut and the floor sank below them.
The ride was quick. Harry stepped out and turned left. His green eyes flowed around the hall, covered in black tile and lit only by the blue-white light of torches, taking in every detail. There were enough bits he recognized from the books that his feet knew where to go before he really thought about it. After all, the only other place to go was a flight of stairs that lead down to Level 10. He had no desire to go there.
He stopped in front of the door and waited for Percy to tell him what to do next. After all, he only knew how to break into it. Not the normal way of doing things.
He looked to the side to see Percy walking up slowly, watching Harry with interest.
Harry froze. He hadn't mentioned anything about Seeing a vision about the department. Harry opened his mouth to think up something to say and came up completely blank.
The redhead kept his heavy gaze on him for only a moment longer, then looked to the door. Harry's shoulders relaxed immediately and felt sort of light-headed. As he followed after Percy trough the door into the Entrance Chamber it occurred to him how dangerous it was what he was doing Percy might be helping him now but he was very smart. Harry would have to be careful if he didn't want him to find out about the books. Maintaining a cover of being a Seer was trouble enough.
He squashed down the brief flicker of guilt that passed through him. No matter how much he was beginning to like Percy, he couldn't tell him about the books. He couldn't tell anyone. It was just like Percy told him knowledge is power. Right now Harry could use all the power he could get, and he wasn't going to risk forfeiting it for anyone.
"State the reason for your visit."
A twenty-something wizard with brown hair sat at a small desk off to the side. The room its self was black and circular, all marble and cold. There were twelves doors along the curve of the wall which Harry knew would rotate as soon as a door closed.
"We're here to present an ability for registration."
The wizard sighed and stood to his feet. "Follow me." He walked to a door three down from his desk. When he stood in front of it he brought out some small device on a chain around his neck which flashed briefly. the door opened and he walked through, Percy and Harry following after.
The room behind it was long and rectangular, clocks and time-telling devices of all shapes and sizes were kept in it.
"What makes the light dance on the walls?" Percy asked.
The wizard leading them through the room gave another, loud sigh. "Information about our department can not be given out to civilians off the street."
Something in the wizard's tone annoyed Harry.
"This is the time room." He said, loudly enough the wizard in front would hear him. "The light you see comes from the large bell jar over...there. Do you see it? The sand inside it is giving off the light. It has a power like a phoenix in reverse. You constantly un-age and are reborn old and then un-age again."
Percy studied in the bell jar with interest.
"Oh and there those shelves hold time turners." Harry pointed.
Their guide turned o his heel to stare at Harry, several emotions flowing across his face. The most obvious a mixture of curiosity and mistrust. "Who told you that? Unspeakables are not to reveal any information about what we do here to anyone and certainly not detailed descriptions of our different areas of study and their rooms."
"No one told me," said Harry.
Before the wizard could voice a no doubt impolite comment Percy interrupted. "Harry here knows a lot of things. That's why we're here."
Hazel eyes snapped over to Percy and then back to Harry. "Harry, you say? I don't suppose he'd be..."
"Doesn't seem very fair to ask us questions when we can't ask you any," said Percy.
The wizard gave Harry an annoyed glare then turned around and lead them to a door at the far end of the room.
"This is the Hall of Prophecies," said Harry. "Be careful not to touch anything Percy. The glass orbs are fragile and there's only the one unless someone made a copy."
A frustrated noise from their guide had a small smile gracing Percy's lips. Apparently, he was no fonder of the wizard than Harry was. They were lead through a wider than average row of shelves to the right wall, along which were three doors.
"Offices," Harry explained.
With one more glance of suspicion in Harry's direction, the wizard knocked on the door and waited. A moment later a rather gloomy voice called out for them to come in.
The office was small and nearly bare. Only one desk with a chair on either side of it, a few filing cabinets to one side, and a bulletin board on the other wall. Sitting in the chair facing the door, two stacks of paperwork in front of him, was a wizard who looked to be in his forties. He was quite pale with grey eyes and dark blonde hair.
"I apologise for disturbing you Bode." said their still-unnamed guide. "We have an applicant for registration."
The man, Bode, looked to Percy and then over to Harry. His gaze was unblinking and uncomfortable. Harry resisted the urge to squirm or look at the floor.
"Very well," Bode said. His voice was slow, rising and falling in waves.
Percy's hand squeezed Harry's shoulder. When Harry looked up at him he gave a small nod. Harry nodded back and pulled down his hood. Hesitantly he took a step forward.
"Your parents didn't want to be with you for your registration?" Bode questioned.
"My parents are dead," said Harry.
Bode was silent. Then, "Your guardian then. He didn't come?"
Harry could feel Percy's eyes on him. "They're muggles," Harry said. "Sir."
"How did muggles know to send you here?"
"They didn't," said Percy. "I am the one who told him he needed to come here and register. Harry was...unaware of the significance of his talents until we met. He may have entered school this September without anyone the wiser. At first." He glanced at Harry, amusement faintly visible. "I care not to think of the chaos which would have ensued."
"I'm still unconvinced he isn't a fraud," said the guide who was standing there still. "I've seen no evidence of any talents. Only loose tongues."
"Big words for an intern who goes missing in the next four years." Snapped Harry. Honestly, what was his problem?
"Prediction or idle threat?" Bode asked.
"Neither?" said Harry.
"He isn't a prophet," said Percy. "He...knows things. About people and their futures. It appears to be based on a linear timeline following along certain points according to that person's actions so far. Distance and touch seem to play a factor."
"Can you make a prediction about me?" Bode inquired.
"It's not a prediction," Harry and Percy said in unison.
"I know it." said Harry, "I will know it. I can...see it." He waved a hand vaguely in front of his face. He tried to remember everything he'd read about Unspeakable Bode in the books.
"See?" He heard Bode speaking in the background. Harry turned in his direction and took a few steps closer. "Yes..." He tried his best to picture the pages, remember what they said. "I know when you die. I can see it. You're in a room in the Damage Ward at St Mungo's. Comatose most of the time. Just lying there. Sometimes you stare up at the ceiling for hours, whispering things to yourself." Yes, Harry remembered now. "Then you start to get better. They think you'll make a full recovery. You're sent a present for Christmas. In strangles you in the night. They find your body the next morning. Everyone pretends it was an accident and no one speaks about you again."
Harry nodded to himself. That was it. He blinked and shook his head. Bode's hands were holding to the sides of his desk. Harry turned behind him to see both the intern and Percy watching him with wide, wary eyes.
"Did I do it wrong?" He asked.
Percy swallowed. "No, that was exactly right Harry."
Harry whipped around toward Bode.
"And you claim it is not a prediction?"
"No sir," said Harry. "It's like knowing the sky is blue even though you've never been outside."
Bode nodded. "And your friend mentioned a linear timeline. That it goes according to choices and paths from your current point in the timeline. If it is not prophecy or prediction, does this mean..." Bode trailed off.
"It seems that you can do something about the things I see, yes," said Harry. "Though I still don't know about much can change, I'm still testing it out."
"And if I wanted to avoid my...my death. Would you know what needs to be done?"
Harry stilled. That would be a bit like opening Pandora's box. How would he possibly be able to answer that sort of question without bringing up Voldemort or the prophecy about himself?
"I'm afraid," came Percy's voice. "that I must insist he keep silent until a registration is made. He has no protections or incentive for his talents right now. A demonstration is all I can grant you until that is remedied."
Harry breathed a soft sigh of relief. Good. Anything that gave Harry more time to think.
Bode filled out some paperwork, only pausing for a short moment upon hearing Harry's full name. To his credit, he didn't remark upon it further or do that idiotic thing from the books where people stared at fictional Harry's forehead.
Bode brought Harry around to his side of the desk at one point. e opened a filing cabinet and brought out a small metal box. Bode placed it on the desk and opened it. Inside were several small round devices like the one the intern used to open the door in the Entrance Chamber.
Harry watching quietly as Bode fixed it to a chain for Harry to wear.
"From this moment on Potter, you are a registered Seer with the Department of Mysteries. This device will grant you limited access to our facilities for the purpose of research and experimentation pertaining to your talents. You will never bring anyone unauthorized inside and you will take anything out when you leave. Nothing that you see or learn here may be spoken of outside these walls unless it is to someone who already knows the information. Such as another unspeakable like myself." He held the device and its chain the palm of his hand in front of him.
"Do you understand these rules, Potter?"
"Very well. If you would roll up your sleeves and reach out your hands. I'll have you imbue a small piece of your magic into the device to link the two of your together. No one other than yourself will be able to use this device as long as you live or until a time which it is deactivated. Do you understand my directions?"
Harry nodded and pushed up his sleeves. It was much easier now that the close fit better and didn't immediately fall back down his arms. Harry reached out his hands.
Suddenly Bode grasped one of Harry's arms with his free hand. Harry froze. He looked up at Bode cautiously.
He turned his head to see what the Unspeakable was looking at. There on his arm was a faint bruise and faded red marks in crescent shapes from his aunt's nails. He'd forgotten that was even there. It wasn't a bad bruise or anything.
"Sir?" Harry tried again.
"Did your friend get rough with you, Potter?" Bode asked, seriously.
Harry stared at him. "W-what? No! Percy would never."
Bode's unblinking gaze studied Harry's face. "You are under our protection now, Potter. If you need help say so."
Harry nodded numbly, heart pounding. A most curious feeling pooling in his chest.
"Yes, sir. I'll remember that."
With Bode's instruction Harry was able to activate the device without incident. Pleased, he slipped the chain around his neck.
"Are you going to be his handler, then?" Bode asked as he placed Harry's file into the cabinet.
"Handler?" Harry asked.
Bode stepped out from behind his desk. "Yes. When someone has a rare or not easily controlled ability it is generally the custom to have a handler assigned to them. They do everything from helping them when they become overwhelmed to aide them in navigating how to practice and control their abilities. That sort of thing. It is especially important with you being so young. I merely assumed, since you brought him here with you."
Harry looked up at Percy.
The redhead walked two steps forward and knelt in front of Harry. "This is up to you Harry."
Something niggled in the back of Harry's mind. "Why?"
"You want me to choose you for this. That's why you brought me. Not just so I got registered because its the rules. Whether I did or didn't doesn't really affect you. You wanted me to choose you for this. Right?"
Percy looked away from a moment, then met Harry's eyes. "Yes. I do."
"Everything I have old you, Harry, has been true. My father...my family is...poor. We can't afford to do and see things...my father is considered a lower class even though he's a pureblood. No one respects him. And...and if he is satisfied with his life and his choices that's fine. Really. I don't look down on my father. But," He licked his lips. "That isn't my life. I will not be satisfied. I want more. I want to choose my own path and I don't want anyone to have a say in whether I can do it. You understand don't you Harry? But I will only be your handler if you want me to be. I'll still hold to our deal either way. This is your life and your choice. And if...if you do choose me I promise you I will do everything in my power to help you. I swear it."
A faint golden glow of magic glittered in the air around Percy.
Harry stared at the redhead kneeling before him. "I'd like to have Percy as my handler." Harry decided.
"I'll add it to your file. And did you have a liaison in mind?" Bode nodded at Percy. "This one is too young at fifteen to be both. Your liaison should be someone of age who can pass a security check from the ministry. They'll be an adult voice and go-between for you and other entities when your Handler isn't enough. Between you and the Ministry for instance, since you seemed so keen on bypassing them in your registration."
"Of age and can pass a security check." Harry murmured.
A wide grin spread across Harry's face. In his excitement he couldn't resist. "Would an Auror in training qualify?"
Thoughts, questions, theories and limericks always welcome.
NOTES: I wonder who he's got in mind...
Ever Yours, Pseu