A hand shot out to swat the back of George's head. Fred smirked at his good fortune until the hand evened the score. The hand belonged to Ginny Weasley, providing an eerie impression of another feared female in the Weasley twin's lives.
"What was that?" She asked, living up to her hair color.
"Erm, our lovely-"
"Employees?" The twins covered.
Unfortunately for the males present in the room, that excuse was too little too late. The twins were in trouble now, and their female friends decided to set the record straight.
"They're still in a snit because they tried to become the new Dark Lords after You Know Who was defeated for good." Angelina took one of the lurid blue chairs while Alicia helped Harry back up. "Unfortunately, this had the unexpected side effect of making their names mud with the current Dark Lord. To further their problems, the current Lord is more of a loan shark than an evil wizard and they are unable to run their business since he got the goblins to side with him."
Harry didn't know what to feel. He had known that The Wizarding World hadn't waited before moving on in their seemingly never-ending supply of Dark Lords. It was not as surprising as it could have been that the twins had sought to be one of many. It was more surprising that they had let it get in the way of jokes.
"Why don't you go start up in another country?" He asked sensibly.
To this inquiry he received multiple blank looks. It appeared the lack of logic had saturated this bunch as much as the rest of Wizardkind.
"Well its not as if you have anyone to stay here for, and it can obviously be done! Hermione's doing it!"
"Where would we go?" For once, the twins didn't try to confuse him at all.
"Oh I don't know, India? They still speak the Queen's English, and it's far enough away that any stigma attached to you probably wouldn't stick."
"Ginny!" Fred turned to his sister excitedly.
"Don't ask me," she huffed, "it's your business that's suffering."
As they started discussing the idea excitedly, Harry felt vaguely manipulative. He couldn't help feel that he was shedding connections to the Wizarding World right and left. It was almost as if he didn't want to be attached to that part of his life anymore. Did he really want to live out the rest of his life as a butler? Sadly, the more that was revealed about the place he once called home, the more he realized that was exactly what he was hoping for.
It seemed such a silly goal. Years spend training to do something adventurous and exciting wasted when it all came down to it. The very hated chores the Dursleys had inflicted upon him were the only life skills that he would take into his adult life.
As the two menaces to society were finally distracted from the conversation, Harry turned to Alicia and Angela to catch up and find out what hijinks the rest of his former acquaintances. It wasn't very surprising that most of the sensible people had gone overseas to get away from the mess that was British Wizardry.
"Oh, and you remember Professor Lupin right?" Angelina was saying, "He ran off with some young Auror chit. The ministry is furious, of course."
"Tonks?" Harry asked, happy for his friend.
"That sounds familiar. Maybe." She hedged, "And rumor has it that the two of them are far north, making a cozy little life at a reindeer farm."
Alicia sighed, "Its all terribly romantic. It would be like Christmas all the time."
While doing manual labor in a frozen wasteland and dealing with temperamental beasts didn't exactly sound appealing, it was a wise move on Harry's part to simply nod along. Everyone has his or her own idea of romance, and arguing about it never showed anyone any reason. Some forms of logic must be there originally.
"Oh, and Seamus Finnigin, the boy has gone and opened up a whiskey factory. I must say that I'm surprised it wasn't rum."
As he heard of the various fates of intelligent and less brilliant classmates and friends, Harry felt better and better about his decision. By the end of his conversation, unable to lean on former friends, Harry was ready to make a trip away from Diagon Ally, possibly for the last time.
As he was leaving, the twins were packing their store into a deceptively small carpetbag, and the shop 'minions' were cleaning the nooks and closing the crannies. He smiled, and let himself out, slowly altering his appearance one last time into the form he had become accustomed to. As his features shifted, he was lost in the crowd, and any who had cared to look could not have found their black haired friend.
As he passed through the magic barrier Harry pulled out a little card. He didn't watch as the tiny pub disappeared between two shops. Instead his eyes were focused on a public telephone. Giving the device the last of his pocket money, he dialed the numbers neatly printed on the front of the card. His last words as Harry were "Hello Mrs. Wayne, I have changed my mind about your offer."
And Harry was no more. A man called Alfred started his new life and the rest, my friends, is History.