Disclaimer: Not mine.
There may or may not be more of this in the offing. If there is, it will be a full-on multi-crossover of DOOM. Be warned.
CHAPTER ONE: The Fine Print of Success
Harry hadn't gone into the Auror corps expecting a lifetime of glory and excitement. He'd figured, right from the start, that for the most part it'd be dreary, grueling, heartbreaking work. But he'd gotten through it, made his way to Head of the Department of Magical Law--where a job he really hadn't anticipated awaited him. A job more unpleasant than any he'd dreamed up, back after the final battle, when he'd submitted his application to the Ministry, half certain they'd laugh in his face despite his current heroic status. After all, he hadn't even finished Hogwarts. He was a magic school drop-out.
Which was precisely the reason he really shouldn't be given this sort of job.
"Kingsley," he snapped, barging into the Minister's office without bothering to knock (though he did stun the secretary so she couldn't sound her Potter-is-on-the-warpath alarm, and then he wasted a few seconds with his ear pressed to Shacklebolt's door, because a good Auror eavesdrops at every possible opportunity).
"Harry," Kingsley sighed, looking resigned. "I take it poor Ulyssia is once again frozen in her seat?"
"She knew the risks of the job," Harry replied, though he did feel a tiny pang of guilt. Ulyssia Baddock's son was a rookie in his department, and one of the better recruits, at that. It just seemed wrong, stunning his protegee's mum whenever he needed to have a quick and angry word with her boss. "And she still bakes me cookies every couple of weeks, so I think she thinks this is pretty funny."
Shacklebolt grunted, casting a dark look towards the door. "She would," he allowed unhappily. "That woman--"
"Runs the Ministry, and you know it," Harry finished, pitching his voice a little louder, because Ulyssia enjoyed flattery. A lot. And her flattery-induced baking sessions were the stuff of legend. "But Ulyssia's many, many fine qualities are not the point, for once. The point is, what the hell was this morning's memo about?"
Kingsley cleared his throat, not quite meeting Harry's eyes. "You'll have to be more specific, Harry, quite a number of memos go around all the time. And don't think I don't know about your little target-practice games with Weasley and Bones."
"Training exercise," Harry said automatically, feeling no shame whatsoever. Memos were made to be creatively destroyed. "And as for which one, well, I think you know. Minister, since when it is the 'duty of the Head Auror' to visit a bunch of teenagers, ones in other dimensions, and tell them to be good and stay in school and Just Say No to dark magic? Kingsley, you know I'm the very last person on earth qualified to tell kids how to be--what did your little note say? Right--'productive junior members of society'."
"You were a real punk," Kingsley agreed.
Harry wasn't exactly thrilled by this astute assessment of his previous character, but he was more than willing to take advantage of anything that might get him out of this thing. "You see?" he said, triumphant. "I'd be a terrible role model!"
Minister Shacklebolt did not look impressed by this line of reasoning. He leaned back in his ridiculously comfortable-looking chair, arms folded over his chest, eyebrows raised as he looked Harry over. Harry managed not to twitch in response.
"I think you misunderstand the nature of your duty," Kingsley said, emphasizing the last two words with relish. "Harry, the Department of Mysteries has an Unspeakable dedicated to keeping track of certain youths throughout the multiverse, children and teenagers they believe could become...perhaps too influential in their own worlds, enough so that their actions might begin to influence us. It has always been the Head Auror's job to have a sit down with these special children, assess their character and intentions, and perhaps impart a few words of wisdom and warning."
Harry stared. "...You're telling me I'm in charge of some kind of Multidimensional Villains and Heroes of the Future club?"
"Think of it as more of a loosely organized association," Kingsley advised, lips twitching. "One without badges."
"Yeah, for now," Harry said gloomily, because the moment Hermione heard about this--oh, there'd be bad acronyms and shiny badges aplenty. "Can I delegate? Wait. How come I never--"
"No, you cannot delegate. And do you really think we'd send the Head Auror to come talk with you when Albus Dumbledore himself was your mentor?" Kingsley asked dryly.
"Oh. Right, that makes sense. I guess. Well then. How do I know which kids I need to meet with? For that matter, how do I talk to them in the first place, if most of them aren't even from this dimension?"
"I believe you already know the Unspeakable in charge of this project, actually," Kingsley said, eyes gleaming spitefully. "Apparently, Mister Zabini is quite good at weeding out those who are merely ambitious from the children truly capable of one day having a real impact in the community. He told me he'll have your first few assignments on your desk by the end of the day. Harry, I know you're busy, and rather young for this sort of task. But it was either you or the American Head Auror, and, well..."
Harry shuddered. He'd visited the American Ministry once, and was still scarred. They made Luna look like she was completely in touch with reality.
"I hate you," Harry informed Kingsley wearily. "One day, I'm going to overthrow you and instate Ulyssia in your place, and then you'll be sorry."
"You know," Kingsley said ponderously, "I think it's your impressive emotional maturity that makes you so very right for this task. And don't be ridiculous, Potter, Ulyssia could take over with both hands tied behind her back if she ever wanted to be Minister. She'd hardly need you helping out."
"I'm telling your boyfriend you were mean to me," Harry said, scowling.
Kingsley winced, alarm flashing across his normally stoic face. "Now, Harry, don't you think that's a little...drastic?" Kingsley's boyfriend was both imaginatively sadistic and *extremely* fond of Harry.
"No. No, I don't," Harry said shortly, before turning on his heel and marching out of his boss' office, flicking his wand towards Ulyssia the moment he saw her. "Finate incantatem," he muttered, bracing himself for a lecture.
Ulyssia shook herself, nose wrinkling. "I hate it when you do that, Harry," she complained, a hand going to her hair to make sure it was all still in place--as if anything but an all-out nuclear war could make her look less than perfectly put together. "And don't think I don't know what you're trying to pull, with all that 'Ulyssia runs the Ministry' stuff."
Harry smiled at her, batting his lashes once or twice--Ginny made him practice that move in the mirror at least once a week, and it'd paid off. Whenever one of them got caught doing something terribly stupid or immature, all he had to do to get them out of trouble was pout a little, bat his eyes, and radiate hurt innocence. It worked like a charm.
Ulyssia was immune, of course, but she thought it was funny, and an amused Ulyssia was a happy Ulyssia. And a happy Ulyssia made deluxe banana bread and mounds of triple chocolate cookies, and always brought some in for her favorite coworkers.
"Ulyssia, you know I wasn't joking," he said, which was true enough. "The place would go up in flames without you around, telling us all what to do. And it doesn't hurt, the way you hand out cookies whenever anyone shows the slightest hint of competence." That particular quirk was no doubt a result of Ulyssia's years spent working under Fudge, and was probably the only good thing that ever came out of his administration.
"Oh, get out of here, brat," Ulyssia sighed, rolling her eyes. "Oh, and tell Malcolm I expect to meet this new girlfriend of his soon--I've heard Things about her." She frowned, and Harry backed away automatically, because she was scarier than Bellatrix Lestrange when she was angry.
"Will do," Harry agreed with a short, jerky bow. "Now. Make me some cookies, woman." He barely managed to dodge the rather powerful cutting hex she threw at him, but he wasn't a Seeker for nothing. According to Teddy, he was 'fast like ninja'.
He also wasn't an idiot, so he darted out the door and ran far away, certain that one way or another, she'd get her revenge before the end of the day.
And now--now it was time to enjoy his last few hours of being an actual Auror, before he had to start with this guidance counselor nonsense.
Hermione was going to be thrilled. Knowing her, she'd even be jealous.
As for Ginny and Ron...well, they were going to laugh forever.