A/N: I don't own Harry Potter. But then, neither do you.
January 14, 2008
"You're really going to make me do this."
"Yes, Harry. The Wizarding public wants, nay deserves to know what's become of you in the last ten years." She looked at him expectantly. Harry responded with a glare, grumbling under his breath about evil reporters and devious women.
"Would you rather I give the interviews and we get this out of the way now, or do you want me to owl the lovely Ms. Skeeter? Or would you prefer to hold a press conference?"
"We've discussed this already, and you've made your point. Can we please just get this over with?"
The blonde reporter pulled out a dictation quill and parchment, made a show of setting it up and testing it for reliability, cleared her throat loudly and began.
"Testing. Daily Prophet Interview. Now Harry, actually, may I call you Harry, or would you prefer Mr. Potter?"
Harry's glare was the only response.
"For our readers, Harry is shrugging noncommittally." The reporter paused to throw an overexaggerated wink at Harry, which caused his glare to break as he stuck his tongue out at her. "Harry, what do you think of the recent celebrity you have become in the Muggle media?"
"I find the entire thing rather amusing, although I'm a little irritated that someone is profiting from my image without my consent. My solicitor is currently pursuing the matter, although I doubt we will reach a satisfiable result."
"Any idea who has provided the author with her information?"
"I'd like to refrain from speculating."
"But you do have some clues as to whom?"
"The details in certain locations and events limit the number of possible candidates, and the particular details changed suggest someone with a bias towards some individuals and against others. Again, I'd like to refrain from wild speculation."
"Do you suspect a conspiracy?"
A grinning Harry responded a curt, "No."
"For our readers unfamiliar with some of the events of your life, were there any events changed that were more upsetting than others?"
"Most of the changes weren't particularly bothersome - little details changed and minor events added or left out aren't a big deal. With respect to larger, more public events - the Triwizard Tournament, the Quidditch World Cup - little was changed, which unfortunately only lends credence to the story as a whole. Some of the little things that were changed in day to day events could be written off either as ignorance on the part of the witch or wizard that supplied notes to Ms. Rowling or artistic license on her part. I was, however, more irritated at the interpretation and development of characters and the changes in interpersonal relationships between all of us than any of the plot of the books which, again, look more realistic in the eyes of the Wizarding audience that recognizes the more publicized facts that are present."
"Which there any particular individual or relationship changes that come to mind as more irksome than others?"
"Let me address the people first - I like to compare it to viewing caricatures; some people were described and detailed to focus on their worst traits and others their best - and a number of my friends unfortunately fall into the former category. Hermione Granger can be bossy at times, but she was a far more tactful and considerate person than she was portrayed in the fictionalization. Ron was likewise portrayed with fewer dimensions than he possesses - Ron was nearly always there for me, and the idea that he would abandon Hermione and me during the Horcrux hunt is absurd. Also, I understand that for the sake of not making a story overly confusing, you simply can't have too many main characters, but I'd like to think I had more friends than the books would have you believe. Not best mates, mind, but Dean and Seamus were all but ignored in the books. Hogwarts alumni will remember that it's difficult to live with someone for seven years without getting to know them really, really well. I can't speak for everyone that we went to school with, but the last time I talked to Dean he was a little miffed that the only thing he's known for in those books was being a football fan and dating Ginny Weasley for a term. He has Muggle family who read the books, and they rib him endlessly about it. The worst change, in his mind at least, is that he's not a West Ham fan at all; he prefers Chelsea. Any friend of his should know that."
"For our readers unfamiliar, this would be Dean Thomas, Muggle-born classmate of Harry Potter. What irritated you in terms of the relationships changed in the books?"
"Anyone who keeps up with the gossip columns should know that much."
"Oh, Harry, indulge the readers."
"Fine. Ignoring my own life, Ron and Hermione for one. Yes they dated; and yes they married. It lasted all of six months before they had the marriage annulled. They're still close friends of mine, and I know that they don't like the books any more than I do."
"Moving on - Harry, I'm sure we're all curious" - Harry was chuckling by now, shaking his head in mock exasperation - "where exactly have you been for the past ten years?"
"Let's see, in no particular order - France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, North America and Australia." Harry grin faded to a smirk.
"Deliberately vague, much? How about more of a timeline? And why exactly did you leave?"
"I left Hogwarts in 1998 at the end of the autumn term. I was getting stir-crazy after the war ended and needed to get away from everything for a time. I spent the first few months wandering on my own, and then out of nowhere I received a letter from a friend suggesting a magical degree program at a university in Uppsala, Sweden. I spent seven years at university there and then traveled a bit."
"You hadn't sat for your N.E.W.T.s, though. Did that not impact your further education?"
"Well, N.E.W.T.s are just tests, and not universal ones. All the universities I looked into had separate qualifying and placement examinations."
"Did anyone you meet recognize you, the saviour of Wizarding Britain?"
"Actually, fewer people had heard of me than I would have thought given Voldemort's activities on the continent. More than I had hoped, however."
"Were there any other Hogwarts students that attended university with you?"
At this Harry shook his head at the reporter, grinning openly now. "One, yes."
"Did you enjoy your time at university?"
"Immensely. I was finally able to learn and meet people without the stress of war or the expectations of a country on my shoulders. I made a number of new friends and learned a great deal about magic, the world, and myself."
"That's probably good for the Prophet. Which do you want to do next?"
"Get the Witch Weekly one over with. That will be the less fun of the two, I imagine."
The reporter set the dictation quill to a new parchment.
"Testing. Witch Weekly Interview. Now Harry, actually, may I call you Harry, or would you prefer Mr. Potter?"
Harry snorted. "Harry's fine."
"Harry, have you enjoyed the last ten years, saving damsels in distress and playing the part of international playboy?"
"I assume you're referring the the various articles written about me in Witch Weekly over the years. I have not, in fact, been traveling the world saving damsels in distress. Once, maybe, but she resents being referred to as a damsel and the most distress she has been in was being trapped in an Animagus transformation at a Muggle zoo."
"That does sound like quite a story. Care to elaborate?"
"Only that the Muggle officials were most cooperative and that I now know that the Animagus reversal and Portkey creation spells are Arithmantically very similar."
"How about your status as an international playboy? Is it true that you once dated seven different women in the span of one evening, using a time turner and Polyjuice to take them all to the same club with a different face for yourself?"
Harry sighed. "I am not now, and will never be, an 'international playboy' or anything similar. As for the party, I lost a bet, and all seven of those women were in fact the same girl, also drinking the aforementioned Polyjuice potion. So it was really seven dates in one evening with one person."
"Seven dates with one girl? That's more than our readers would expect. A steady girlfriend, perhaps?"
"Ah, so what lucky girl has won the heart of Witch Weekly's most eligible bachelor?"
"I'm sure you'll find out eventually. For now, it's more fun to see the gossip columns speculate."
"Drat. Any other details? When did you start dating?"
"We attended the same university, and started dating about eight years ago."
"Eight years? Quite the courtship. Are there wedding bells in the future?" The reporter's expression didn't change, but she still seemed to hit Harry with a piercing stare.
Harry looked over the top of his glasses at the reporter as if to ask, Is that a hint? "If there are, you'll be the first to know."
"I'm glad. Now, you mention that you attended the same university. You were both pursuing magical masteries, then?"
"Actually no, I was pursuing a bachelor of magic degree and a mastery in charms; she studied for a dual degree - a bachelor of magic in creatures and a bachelor of arts in journalism."
"So when did you first meet?"
"We met at Hogwarts - on the train, actually."
"Was it love at first sight?"
"I don't believe in such a thing, and no it was not."
"So how did you start dating?"
"We'd been good friends for a while - better friends than I think either of us fully realized. We hadn't seen one another in a few months, and shortly before she started at university with me, we ran into each other at a party that neither of us particularly wanted to be at. We then proceeded to fight over a book, and we've been dating ever since."
"Romance at its finest. So tell me, Harry, what are your plans for the future? Do you plan to return to Britain?"
"For the immediately foreseeable future, I plan to continue traveling the world. I've been exchanging letters with some friends from Hogwarts, and we've been tossing around the idea of chartering and financing a magical university somewhere in Britain. We're the only magical nation in Western Europe that doesn't have a major university, and we'd like to see that remedied in our lifetime."
"Noble goals. I think we can expect great things and I hope you'll keep our readers up to date with your progress. Alright, I think that does it for the Witch Weekly interview. Last one Harry, I promise."
The reporter set the dictation quill to the final parchment.
"Testing. Quibbler Interview. Now Harry... actually, may I call you Harry, or would you prefer Mr. Potter?"
Harry looked thoughtful for a moment. "I think I'd prefer Steve, actually."
"Excellent. Now Steve, our readers are dying to know, were you or were you not arrested by Muggle officials in May of 2004 for sexually assaulting a penguin?"
"I was not convicted of any crime in reference to the alleged event, and for the record, that penguin came on to me!"
A/N: A short one-shot that came to me a few weeks ago. Thanks to my beta, Melodi, for fixing the little things I would have missed.
Also, I like Luna as a penguin animagus. That will show up in other stories of mine - it just seems to fit.