The Man Who Sold The World
We passed upon the stair, we spoke of was and when
Although I wasn't there, he said I was his friend
Which came as some surprise I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone, a long long time ago
Oh no, not me
I never lost control
You're face to face
With The Man Who Sold The World
I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home
I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
We must have died alone, a long long time ago
Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You're face to face
With the Man who Sold the World
"See," said Alex. "I told you everything would be fine."
"Fine?" repeated Jia, from behind her hands. "Seriously?"
Alex shifted in his chair on the other side of Jia's desk, his brown files held together with rubber bands cradled in his lap. "Well," he said, tilting his head in thought. "He got home didn't he?"
"After just a spot of bother, wouldn't you agree?" cried Jia, her hands falling to her desk with a smack. "I haven't slept seventy two hours!"
"Yes," said Alex amicably. "But technically you don't need to sleep now do you?"
Jia just glared.
"He saved the world!" said Alex, wobbling his head at his boss in hopes of getting a smile from her. "He destroyed Voldemort – again – he saved his little sis, it's great."
"It's a lot of paper work," said Jia straight faced, dropping a pile of forms in front of him.
"Which I will do gladly."
"Good," said Jia, leaning back in her chair, the tiniest twitch of a smile on her lips. "Then you can do mine too."
Alex barked out a laugh and rocked back and forth in his seat in glee, his feet dancing under the desk. "Oh you've got to admit he's got style hasn't he, sweeping in and saving everyone like that. And Draco Malfoy! I did not see that one coming, I wish my one could be a bit more like that, rather than running around being everyone else's childhood traumas. I could do with a bit more bravery from him."
Jia sighed, but the real anger seemed to have dissipated. "What about the doorway between worlds, it's weakened now, do you think anyone will be falling through it any time soon?"
Alex made a popping noise with his mouth. "Don't believe so, only Harry knows it's there and I think he's had enough excitement for now. I'm sure he'll spend the next five years playing Monopoly and drinking Chamomile tea."
"Yes I'm sure that's exactly what he'll do," replied Jia dryly. She picked up her nearest coffee mug and toyed with it. "Oh alright," she said eventually. "Well done for not ending the multiverse, I'm glad we're all still here."
"Well said," agreed Alex. "But really I did very little this time round, there wasn't much I could do." He pulled a face. "Last time I had to pull people down here and give them a good telling off, it was a nightmare."
"So it's all sorted?" asked Jia tiredly. "All lose ends tied up, all business finished? We don't have to worry about Harry Potter anymore?"
"Yes," said Alex rising to his feet and hoisting his papers all together. "All taken care of, nothing more to trouble us."
Jia smiled and tapped her index finger on her coffee mug. "Marvellous."
But before Alex could even take a step, the door behind him burst open to reveal Jia's new Watcher, the one from the universe Alex's Harry Potter had created. He was young but already showing a great deal of enthusiasm for the job. Right now however, all he was showing was an inability to stand up, draw breath or form a coherent word.
"What's wrong?" said Jia alarmed, rising to her feet as the boy sucked in a lungful of air, straightened up his back and held out a single sheet of paper for Alex and Jia to see.
"I could be wrong," said Seamus Finnigan. "But I think we have a serious problem."
End of Book One
First and foremost I have to start by thanking my brother John, my best friend and the greatest editor a girl could ever ask for. To say this book trilogy wouldn't be what it is today without him is an understatement of outrageous proportions. Thank you for all the late night brainstorming, the clever little details and the great whopping story arcs, and most importantly, thank you for remembering all the things I continuously forgot after too much dream wine. Thank you for always being there to talk about Harry and the gang, as well as all the other crazy stuff, you really are the best. Here's to many more years of Haslam Ink.
Next thanks go to the Reading crew, the mightiest geeks of them all – especially Carol, May and Lorraine – for always inspiring me with your passion and amazing Hallowe'en costumes. Thanks to my IC girls, Crockers, Stefslavsky, Hastings, Arna, Han, Webby and Nik Nak, who were always patient listening to me whine about writers block and ready to distract me with banter, Pimms and Kisstory. Thank you to Tracy and all the Jade Army for keeping my body and soul up with my mind; instead of becoming an inevitable couch potato you made me a national champion. Thanks to Sue and Hannah for all your help on those first few chapters, and all your encouragement since. You are better Harry Potter fans than I'll ever be.
To Dan, who will probably never read these books, but supported me in all the ways that mattered, probably without even realising half the time. Love you Buba. And to my mommy, my amazing mommy, who never stopped believing in her ever excitable little girl, and always brought me back to my own reality when the real world seemed too much. Remember, they're just hiding behind the pillar.
And finally my thanks have to go to you, yes you! The readers who have made it this far with me and my mate Harry. It took twelve years to finally finish our adventure together, but thanks to you it will never truly be over. All I ever wanted was for people to share this journey through realities with us, so my heartfelt thanks go to you for making that possible. I hope you continue with us through books two and three, where many more dreams await.
With boundless love,