Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter; nor do I own the Ulitmate Unofficial Guides to the Mysteries of Harry Potter - those belong to Galadriel Waters and the rest of Wizading World Press.
Twenty-six-year-old Harry Potter walked along the streets of New York City, window-shopping. He had had to go here for an Auror meeting and would be Apparating back soon, but was doing some quick shopping first. It was right near Hermione's birthday, and he would feel horrible if he didn't buy his best friend a gift. Therefore, he was walking along the crowded city streets, searching for a bookstore where they sold heavy, thick tomes. He continued to walk until he found a store, marked Borders that had somewhat thick books displayed in the windows.
This will have to do, he thought as he walked inside, hearing a little bell ring as he did so. He looked for the adults section and, after looking through it, was disgusted at the books that Muggle adults read these days. Why, Hermione could have read through all of those in a week and then critically analyzed them in another week, so that the glossy books would be very well-thumbed and marked over with Hermione's own neat handwriting, showing her own opinions of Dickens or Hemingway.
I guess I won't find anything here, he thought, disappointed. He decided that he would go back to England and try to find something of interest to Hermione in Diagon Alley during the last few days before her birthday, while avoiding Hermione's constant nagging as to what it was. As he was heading toward the door, a boxed set in the bestsellers section caught his eye. They were certainly thick enough for Hermione's standards and looked beautiful in their velveteen case (which the sign underneath said it cost only ten dollars extra). However, the real thing that caught his eye were the words Harry Potter. Surely not . . . surely she hadn't.
Harry walked up to the boxed set of books and turned it so as to see the titles. Yes, there they were as clear as day: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He couldn't believe this, she had revealed their entire magical world!
Jo hadn't seemed like the sort of narrow-minded Muggle who thought all magic was evil and would reveal it to the authorities when he had met her on the train when he was with Hagrid and had told her about his life thus far. Harry pulled Sorcerer's Stone out from the set and flipped through to Diagon Alley, when he and Hagrid had gone on the train to London and consequently met Jo. It wasn't there. Yet she must have. . . . He remembered how he and Jo had communicated during his school year when she sent him a letter that Hedwig delivered, saying:
It seems that your owl would like us to continue talking to each other, for one day she simply showed up on my doorstep, or my windowsill to be precise and I opened it for her and sent you this letter. That creature is more intelligent than I can express, and she seems to want you and I to continue communicating, as I have said before, so, if you would kindly inform me about your happenings at school now and again, I would greatly appreciate it. Your world sounds so fascinating and it will really help me out of the world that I am in now.
However, when Harry flipped to The Potions Master which was around the time he had received Jo's first letter (and he had honored her request), he saw that it wasn't there. He had gotten his letter from Hagrid, surely, but no letter from Jo (or JK Rowling as it said on the books). In fact, she seemed to have advertised this story - in fact, the whole series - as fiction! He couldn't believe this, Jo had protected his privacy yet had published his story along the way, delighting those who were fortunate enough to read it, Harry guessed.
It was at this point that Harry wondered if Jo had made any money on these books, he knew that she had been in poverty at first, but she had never really told him anything once they got going with their communication, she had just asked for information and he had given it to her by the loads, not only that, but she had given her own opinion of his stories.
Why, he remembered once when he had told her about Sirius's escaping on Buckbeak the hippogriff and her letter back had been ecstatic and she had even asked him to tell Sirius that she had said hi (which he had, as he had told his friends and family about Jo, but she hadn't included that either). And when he had told her about Sirius's death, the letter back to him had been weepy and covered in tear stains and Harry had cried when he saw it.
Harry gaped, he could hardly believe this, and he still wondered if Jo had made any money. However, as he wandered through the bookshelves, his head still buried in Sorcerer's Stone, his answer was given as he saw two teenage girls walking toward the front doors, arguing.
"It's obvious it's Regulus, isn't it? I mean, only Death Eaters call Voldemort 'the Dark Lord,' he said that he would be dead by the time Voldemort read it and he was, because Voldemort had Death Eaters go after him and kill him, because he probably suspected that Regulus had found out about the Horcruxes. Plus, there was that locket when they were cleaning out 12 Grimmauld Place with the snake on it. It all fits, Darlene!"
"Coincidence," said Darlene, rolling her eyes. "It's Binns, it has to be him, otherwise why would he hang around the school? Plus, we're not sure if he was a Death Eater or not so he might have called Voldemort the Dark Lord and he knows an awful lot about the school and history anyway, so he knew about the Chamber, and probably believed in it. Then, he probably knew that Voldemort's diary Horcrux was in there, so he let Harry destroy it, a lot like Dumbledore did." Here both girls wiped their eyes and Harry hung his head, even years from when it had happened, Dumbledore's name still sent a pang to his heart.
"Plus," continued Darlene. "He's so old that he probably taught at least Regulus and knew about his past, if not Voldemort and knew Voldemort's plan to have six pieces of his soul. Otherwise, Dumbledore could have informed him of it and he could have gone after them and let his initials in the fake Horcrux which he could have gone to 12 Grimmauld Place and stolen since he's a ghost and can go through walls, otherwise he could have taken it from Regulus at school, because how do we know he didn't cherish it like he did all his other family possessions?"
Harry smiled to himself, so Jo hadn't let loose the seventh book yet. Ah, it was quite a good story too, but he guessed that Jo was busy making the finishing touches and making sure everything flowed easily, so that it didn't look like a bunch of different messages, instead of the story it was supposed to be.
"There are no such things as coincidences with Jo," the first girl said. "Have those Ultimate Unofficial Guides taught you nothing?" Harry couldn't believe his ears; if there were guides dedicated to the series, it must be popular.
"Well, it's up to Jo in the end, Kate," Darlene conceded and Kate nodded solemnly as if acknowledging a goddess. It was then that both girls saw Harry staring avidly at them and they giggled, causing Harry to blush crimson and gaze back down at his book. The only girls he were comfortable with were Ginny and Hermione, along with his daughter, Nicole. The girls giggled at Harry's embarrassment and Harry immediately thought that giggling should be made illegal as he had so many times before when he had been speaking to Cho.
"So you like Harry Potter, too, then?" Darlene asked, looking at the cover of the book he was desperately trying to bury himself in.
"Uh-huh," Harry mumbled, unable to concentrate on the words anymore. He sighed and looked up, it would be best to get this conversation over with.
"Are you new to the series?" Kate asked.
"No, just rereading," Harry said. And it was true, he'd already been through these years once, he was rereading them for the second time.
"So, who do you think RAB is?"
"I would guess Regulus," Harry said, shrugging again. He was secretly enjoying this; he liked having this hidden advantage over the girls.
"Who's your favorite character?" Darlene inquired, batting her eyelashes.
"Oh, I like Harry," Harry said, shrugging impassively.
"Really? You look just like him! Doesn't he?" Kate asked Darlene.
"Yeah. You look much more like him than Dan," Darlene said. "And you even have the British accent, I guess that they only cast Dan because you're so much older than Harry's supposed to be." Harry guessed that she was talking about the actor who played him in the movies. There are movies? he thought incredulously. I wonder if the Dursleys have heard about this.
"Because Dan is so fugly," Kate commented.
"Oh, come on, he may not look like Harry, but he's one of the hottest guys alive," Darlene said, actually seeming to drool as she said this.
"If you mean Tom, then you'd be correct. Why, just to have him for one night. . . . Ah, the possibilities are endless."
"You make me sick," said Darlene, pretending to retch.
"Ha, ha," said Kate. "She's always like this," she whispered to Harry and he smiled at her, hoping that he wasn't blushing too badly.
"Well, nice meeting you," Darlene said, straightening up. "Do you need a ride, Kate?"
"Yeah," Kate replied. "Thanks. Then I need to get home and upload more chapters of this fan fic I'm writing. The reviewers are getting pretty restless."
"Mine, too," Darlene said with a laugh as she walked out the front doors, followed closely by Kate. Harry gazed after them, gaping, he couldn't believe that he was so popular. At least the girls hadn't asked his name, though, because if he had said 'Harry,' it would have been much too obvious and he may have revealed the magical world. However, there was one more thing he needed to do, and with that, he picked up the boxed set of the six Harry Potter books and paid for them with the Muggle money that the Auror office had provided its associates with. Hermione will get a kick out of this, he thought, as he began to read of how he and Ron had rescued her from the troll.
Note: Just to let you guys know, this is a one-shot, but there will be a companion-ish fic, Unwanted Fame, which is when Harry and Co. discover the HP movies, particularly PoA.