"So, the prophecy has finally come to pass" spoke Harry with resignation.

If someone were to tell Harry that his final moments were to be spent 10 meters underwater, with a Great White Shark charging him from the left and a Saltwater Crocodile charging him from the right… well, he would likely find that to be an oddly specific scenario. But, once he got over that oddness, he would… alright, after fighting a murderous magical bunny he would not find it overly surprising. BUT! Before he was expelled from Hogwarts… no, there was the basilisk… before he found out about magic… ok, he would be more surprised that the Dursleys were willing to spend the money to bring him somewhere that this scenario could be a possibility. Still… the situation was at least mildly surprising.

One of the benefits of all his training was that he found his sense of time dilating in stressful situations. Given that, he had plenty of time to think as the two predators converged on him. Sadly, his body was so battered from his hours of figuring out how to fly through the water just as he flew through the air, that he simply no longer had the energy to move out of the way. His magic maintained his modified bubble head charm, so he had no worries about drowning. As far as he could tell, he could stay underwater indefinitely, and breathing would never be an issue.

At least the past month in Australia so far had been pleasurable. Outside of training and classes over communication mirror with Remus, his days were spent resting above and below the waves while working on learning how to talk with the local mermaid community. Indeed, he had finally gotten a hang of speaking mermish. It was a fascinating language, as it was not a language in the traditional sense of the word. It was more about learning how to screech and vibrate in a way that came out as normal speech underwater. The citizens of the Great Coral Reef Mervillage (as it was called by the human guidebooks, while the citizens called it Reefton) spoke English, it just sounded like piercing screeches when they spoke above water. After much training, he finally got the hang of how to magically enhance his vocal cords to allow him to do more than blow ineffective bubbles.

Thinking back to the lessons, Harry frowned. He felt like he was forgetting something… right! The duo of deadly predators. Where were they again? Ah, almost upon him.

Indeed, the shark and crocodile had put on a burst of speed as they neared Harry. Ever closer they came. Nearer and nearer. In an impossibly short amount of time, they reached the hapless wizard. And then they stopped. Both hovered, inches from Harry, their tails wagging to and fro. In unison, they opened their jaws and released a ball (a man-o-war jellyfish frozen in a stasis bubble) and began to whine eagerly at Harry. The young wizard rolled his eyes.

"Sorry boys, we've been playing fetch for a couple of hours now, and I'm tired. I told you that was the last time I was throwing the ball."

The shark (Chompy) nudged his ball closer to Harry and then began eagerly swimming in tight circles.

The crocodile (Charles) shoved his ball into Harry and then whined as he death-rolled in place.

Harry sighed. "… fine! But this is the last time!"

With a grunt of exertion, he banished the two balls into the distance and watched with fondness as the two beasts rushed off in joy to re-capture their toys.

He then turned his head towards the laughter coming from below him. His mermish tutor, Denise (he was surprised that the merfolk of Australia tended towards more human sounding names) shook her head in clear amusement and turned to speak to Albus who floated beside her.

"How many last times are we at now, Albus?"

"Hmmm… I'm not certain. The first few times were half-hearted at best. If we include those… twenty-seven?"

Denise laughed harder at Harry's annoyed harrumph. "Harry, what is the prophecy that has come to pass?"

Harry smiled as he watched Albus roll his eyes in annoyance. "The harder you play, the harder you sleep".

"… that doesn't sound like any prophecy I have heard of."

Albus spoke with a tone of annoyed weariness. "It's not a prophecy. It was printed on the slip of paper that was in his fortune cookie at lunch today. He and his godfather have seemingly agreed to enter a competition where they find ways of one-upping each other in ways to justify saying their fortune cookie 'prophecy' has come to pass."

Harry chuckled. "It was funny how Sirius went and started greeting everyone on the beach when his fortune said he would make a new friend. Also, Albus had some bad experiences with the divination professor back at Hogwarts, so he can't help but groan whenever I talk about how a prophecy has come to pass, and that just makes it funnier. Plus, there's… oh, come on guys!"

Harry turned back to an eager Chompy and Charles. He looked around the rest of Reefton, at the myriad of deadly aquatic life that the villagers were playing with and shook his head. The biggest surprise of his stay in Australia (so far) was that when it came to dangerous animals, the merfolk were basically a race of Hagrids, where a Great White Shark and a Saltwater Crocodile were the least dangerous of their pets. It did explain the Giant Squid of Hogwarts though.

"OK! Fine! But I mean it, this is the absolutely, positively, complete last time!"

Harry did his best to ignore the laughter as he shot the two balls off yet again.

He continued to ignore the laughter as he repeated the cycle for another hour.

"Good book?"

Harry looked up from his copy of The Invisible Book of Invisibility (he had found it an amusing marketing ploy that you had to also purchase The Visible Book of Visibility and swap book jackets to allow one to read the first book) and smiled.

"Hi Sally, how are you?"

Sally, the owner of the resort Harry was staying at, was a very friendly Centaroo (top was human, and bottom was kangaroo) who been running The Roo-sort for over two decades. Harry wasn't sure if the Centaurs at Hogwarts were typical for all Centaurs, but he certainly hoped the other Centaroos of Australia were just as friendly as Sally and her staff. He certainly preferred the Centaroos' conversation about surfing conditions over listening to incomprehensible oblique references to the shades of planets in the night sky.

"Cheers, Harry, the book any good?"

"It's surprisingly good. I think I will have to send a copy to the triplets, as the author gives a lot of advice on how to sneak about without getting caught, with a suspiciously large number of examples involving how to apply the skills to pranking."

Sally chuckled pleasantly. "From what Albus tells me, the staff will put out a bounty on your head if they find out about this."

Harry winked mischievously, once again wondering if the Centaroos specialized in a magic to make people feel at ease. "It wouldn't be the first time I've caused them headaches. So, what's that you have?"

Sally looked down in her hand to see a glass filled with dark cool liquid, the condensation dripping on her hand.

"This is a fresh glass of Tellabeer, compliments of the lady" she nodded her head towards a very pretty brunette teenage girl sitting a bit down the beach, who was partially hiding behind a book which she kept looking over in order to spy out Harry's reaction.

Harry took the drink, which was a local brew which tasted like a mix of butterbeer and a chocolate milkshake. He frowned slightly as he muttered under his breath. "A thousand miles away, and still can't escape the Boy-Who-Lived fans…"

The ears of a Centaroo were excellent, so Sally leaned in and spoke in a conspiratorial whisper. "Harry, you sweet little idiot, she has no idea who you are. She asked me to give me the drink to, and I quote here, that boy with the cute bum."

Harry's eyes widened as he mouthed the words "cute bum" in surprise. The extremely cute brunette witch clearly saw his lips as she buried her head into her book, which was being held upside down.

"Not that I see it, mind" continued Sally with a smile. "I mean, you're a fit young man, for a human, but I just don't see the appeal of a man with no tail. Still, no accounting for taste. But, if you're interested, that young lady is your age and here with her family for the next week. So, do with that information what you will."

As Sally hopped away to care to her other guests, Harry took a sip of his drink and smiled. The least he could do was introduce himself to a highly attractive girl and at the very least let her know he was more than just that boy with the cute bum.

And that is how Harry got to enjoy what Sirius would dub his very first "summer fling".

"So, Harry, is the prophecy finally come to pass?" spoke an annoyingly smug Albus Dumbledore.

"Shut up, Albus! That one doesn't even count!"

Albus chuckled good naturedly as he pulled out an oversized strip of paper. The same piece of paper that had come out of Harry's fortune cookie the night before. The same fortune that Albus was happily reading out loud again, much to the amusement of the citizens of Reefton.

"To commemorate the end of your first romantic relationship, short as it may have been, you will spend your next day in an underwater village playing fetch with every creature that wishes to play with you, while reading the Boy Who Lived series of books to the children of the village."

Harry grumbled silently to himself before speaking out loud. "You can't just make up your own fortunes and replace the one in the cookie. That's not how the game works!"

"I'm afraid I had no choice, Harry. While you were on your last date with young Lisa the previous night, I received a fortune that said that when I fail to plan, I plan to fail, as such I had to make some sort of plan for us today. Who am I to fight the whims of fate?"

At the reminder of that date with Lisa, Harry felt a dopey smile involuntarily form. Her parents had chaperoned each of the dates they had been on, so they were both very well behaved. But it had been a wonderful week of spending the days swimming around with a beautiful witch, barely brushing up against each other when her parents weren't watching, and fun flirting during dinner dates. There were even quick pecks on the lips after each date, and one good kiss on that final date when her parents gave them a few minutes of privacy to say goodbye. His smile got dopier when he recalled Lisa's wicked grin when she ran up to him the next morning when she was set to leave. She pulled him for a quick but firm kiss and then shocked him by giving his bum an even firmer (but much too short) squeeze "to remember you by". And with that, she ran off, as her mother stifled a laugh, and her father couldn't decide who he wanted to glare at.

The recollection probably would have lasted longer, if Harry hadn't had his dopey smile slapped off his face by eight flaying tentacles. Rubbing his face, he looked over at the Sharktopus, and its returned eight man-o-war balls. With a groan, and laughs from the children seated around him, he touched each of the balls to send them flying off in different directions. While he sent off the last of the balls, he focused back on the book in front of him and resumed reading to the children.

In all honesty, he wasn't all that annoyed by the story time. Today happened to be a local celebration at Reefton, and he was but one of the performers brought in for the carnival. The children would usually sit around for a few minutes to listen to Harry, and then head off for other performances or rides. The biggest hit being the Cthulu rides (obviously they were adolescent Cthulu brought in from the deep-sea farms, as the adults were both too large for the space and their fully matured insanity auras made the children too hyper). Still, Harry wished that the tamer (by Hagrid standards) pets would give him a break for playing fetch. As another ball floated towards him and he went to fling it away as he turned another page of the story he was reading to the constantly shifting audience of children.

Oddly, the day would have felt a lot more chaotic if it wasn't for the ever-present mild insanity aura he had to adjust against. He was occasionally distracted by the sights, like Albus participating in the arm-wrestling competition with a giant squid, but for the most part he found himself in a meditative state. His training against attacks on his mind had gotten him used to instinctively entering a meditative state as a form of protection. So, instead of finding himself constantly distracted, he was calmly enjoying the day.

Breathe, and read, and breathe, and throw a ball, and breathe, and read, and…

As the fair came to an end, Harry reached out to throw another ball and finally took in his surroundings again. As the ball went speeding off, followed by a tired-looking Chompy, Harry found himself a bit surprised. He was the last performer. The rest of the fair had wrapped up. The rides, creatures, and other performers were gone. He still had an audience, but it was mostly just children dozing into their parents' arms or cuddling into their parents' tails. It wasn't that he was completely unaware of what was going on, but it occurred to him that he had only been paying attention to whether he had an audience. The world had primarily fallen away to his meditation.

He took another breath and reached out to throw another ball (this time dropped off by an equally tired-looking Charles). As it went speeding off, and his sense of awareness trickled back to him, he stuttered in his storytelling.

He was silent for slightly more than 10 seconds, before he resumed his reading. He doubted any of the children were awake enough to care if he had stopped right now, but he would still finish up this last story. Those thoughts were a minor thought to him though. His mind was fully aware now, thinking fully about the last ball he had thrown.

Both Chompy and Charles were the last creatures playing fetch with him. And they were clearly exhausted, as they were only playing half-heartedly with him. They weren't even dropping off their balls nearby. Reaching back in his memory, he could recall the slight spike of annoyance he felt some time ago when that started (maybe an hour or two ago). When it started, he had to move away from his book by increasing distances to send the balls off. Finally, the two dropped off balls at the same time. In annoyance (that was starting to break his meditative state at the time) he reached out to the second ball as he touched the first ball and sent them both off at once. After that, he returned to his book and then regained the calm of his meditative state. From that point forward, he would no longer move. He would simply breathe, read, breathe, throw, breathe, and repeat.

Up until this point, the throws had always required his touch. He could push and pull small items on the ground without touching them, but underwater was a completely different scenario. Above the water, it was just him and the object. Below the water, he couldn't seem to separate the object from the water. So, pushing an object away from himself was the equivalent of pushing the entire ocean away. It worked well for moving himself quickly, but it meant he was reduced back to touch magic (he could always use his wand in a pinch, but he preferred his own brand of magic).

So, what had changed?

As Chompy lazily returned his ball, Harry reached out to push the ball away. With a lurch, he felt his body shove away from the ball as the familiar sensation of pushing against the ocean returned to him.

Damn it!

"Well", he thought as he moved back to the book to finish the story, "I guess I know what I will be working on for the foreseeable future."

As he finished reading the story to the snores of sleeping mer-children, Harry smiled so broadly that some of the parents wondered if he was still suffering from Cthulu madness.