What's This? I got into two separate private messaging conversations on FF about either happily married LE/SS or a continuation of Worst Memory. I had part of this written on my hard drive, so I figured rather than teasing it, I'd just go ahead and publish what I had, then slowly continue it … though I have too many stories in progress so we'll see how fast that goes.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Prologue: Harry's Centennial
July 31, 2080. One of the last people who expected to live to see this day was Harry Potter. Well, not lately, or even in the past couple of decades, but it was pretty hairy in the beginning. Even Harry's biggest fans had to admit that. Not that he encouraged his fans because the last time he did something really spectacular, outside of a quidditch pitch for charity, was over eighty years ago. The reforming the Ministry thing was more Hermione, Harry felt he was more of a pretty face. At least that's what Ginny said.
So a party. A big party. It was unavoidable. Kind of embarrassing really to admit he was one hundred. Harry did not feel one hundred. One would think the guest of honor could wear what he wanted, rather than having to put on dress robes, but Ginny insisted. It wasn't so bad because Ginny had the most beautiful set of robes for the event, and he'd look like a tramp next to her unless he made an attempt to look respectable too. Even if his hair had a totally different idea.
Harry winced at the presents. All the presents. It may sound humble, a bit trite, but why wouldn't anyone believe him when he said he was happy to be here with everyone and that was present enough? There was also really special presents because a whole bunch of 'important' people insisted on attending. What made it worse was each one of these people wanted to outdo each other on describing why their present was best.
Now Harry wasn't entirely sure how Draco Malfoy got invited to this event, since both of them would readily admit they were not friends. Ever. However, Draco's sneer had not changed one bit, and he positioned himself perfectly so Harry could see the disdain at what was rapidly degenerating into one heck of a spectacle.
Hermione was being a pal, and sitting next to him taking notes. His hand was going to fall off from writing all the thank yous. Maybe he could hire someone. A bit impersonal, but if he was one hundred, he might as well use it to his advantage to skive off having to do everything personally.
What he could really use was sort of like a program of who this long line of people were. He'd like to know what they were going to give to, but that might be considered rude. At least Hermione was quick to whisper why some of these things were desirable. Harry had never heard of some of these … uh, very fine gifts.
He was relieved to see the end of the line finally. The last one … oh jeez, if Albus Dumbledore decided to become an American, this is what he would wear. It was red. It was white. It was blue. It had stars. It had stripes. It sparkled, and there might even be a rocket's red glare in all that somewhere. Holy smoke, where was that smoke coming from in the back? Harry prayed to whatever would listen that this fellow did not gift him with any clothes. He already had to suffer through trying on many gifts for photographs, including hats that had Draco hooting in laughter. Yet not a single hat topped with a vulture. Pity. Pity? Oh no, was mental disability setting in?
"At last we reach the finale, eh, Mr. Potter?" the elderly, bearded man with a mega-wattage smile inquired.
Harry knew those teeth, and that cheeky, disarming smile. He leaned forward, studied the man, and asked, "Prof. Lockhart?"
"Ha ha. Gilderoy Lockhart? I wish I was as handsome as that devilish rogue. No, I'm Mike Mageical from the American Department of Magic. That's the United States, in case you didn't know."
No one here was afflicted with blindness so they were well aware where Mike Mageical came from. And it was not because they noticed his high-top trainers were decorated with the design of an American flag.
If this guy did not hurry, Harry was considering removing his thick eyeglasses to spare his peepers the agony they were suffering. His eyes were out of practice due to all the time he spent at the Ministry. The golden trio were unable to put a dent into the dress code in all their time there.
"Please continue," Harry urged, without trying to sound desperate.
"Now that you've reached this advanced age and gained the matching maturity that goes along with it, Mr. Potter, we've had a little something sitting around that might fit perfectly in the hands of the Savior of the Wizarding World. Right, Mr. Chosen One?"
Harry looked at this barmy fellow more closely. He had two ears, but one could be fake. "I don't use those titles for myself," Harry replied with a shrug.
"But even you have wondered What if?" Mike prompted, opening the box he was holding as he asked the question.
"What if?" Harry repeated, looking at the cue ball sized orb in the box. It was swirling with mist, but Harry had seen crystal balls do that.
"Look closer, but don't touch it yet. That is, until you are ready."
Harry heard Hermione's little squeak next to him. To her, this was something.
The mist was swirling around, but Harry could see things. A dementor, Sirius, Voldemort, Dudley, a snitch, his mother's face as he saw it in the Mirror of Erised, Voldemort, Molly Weasley, Hermione's long greyed brown bushy hair as her head got in the way …
The squeal in her voice was reminiscent of her at Hogwarts. "Harry! I think you should write it down. You are only going to get one chance." She was shoving her pad of paper and muggle pen at him.
"Write what down?"
"What you wish."
"You make a wish to change something then touch it."
"You'll live it."
"Well, in your head. If you wish there was a giant banana split instead of cake for your birthday, we'd all still have cake."
Harry made a face at her. After seeing who he saw, food was not what he'd wish for. Ron would wish for food. Not him.
Obviously Harry had Ron all wrong, because he suggested, "Harry, you could use it to see how things would be if you were seeker for the Chudley Cannons, rather than being an auror."
"I'm going to need time to think about it, and word it correctly, as Hermione suggested. Food, Chudley Cannons and maybe something that makes a difference. But if I hose it up, it's only in my head right?"
"That could still be dangerous, Harry," Hermione warned.
"What if it's something long, like Ron's quidditch career? Will I be in a coma that whole time?"
"No, it goes rather quick here," Mike said. "But quidditch? Is that what you'd use it for?"
"I don't think so, unless I wrote out a whole thing and then added 'by the way, I won the World Cup for England too'."
"That's silly, I would think it would be the two of us," Ginny commented, looking over Harry's shoulder.
Harry's lip quirked as he thought of his ideal quidditch team. Ron as keeper, him as Seeker, Fred and George as Beaters, Angelina, Ginny and oh darn, Katie Bell, Alicia Spinnet or Dean Thomas as the third chaser? If there were substitutions allowed, wait it was his wish, he could substitute whoever he wished, and Oliver Wood could cover the goals while Ron was off after a spectacular save to a rousing rendition of 'Weasley is our King'. Although many would find it sacrilege for Harry to say 'it's only quidditch', he was definitely going to use this for something more substantial.
The item itself was giving him clues by showing him his parents, Sirius and Remus. Beating Draco in a quidditch grudge match couldn't compare to that.
Chapter One: Harry Makes a Wish
Harry purposely put the damned thing away. Everyone had an idea what he should use it for. It didn't matter because it was his, and would not make a difference to their lives. He was intrigued by it, and Hermione was full of information about how rare and how dangerous it could be, but she was obviously envious too. Hey, he didn't ask for it. Harry didn't even know such a thing existed. However, Harry remembered that items such as the Mirror of Erised and the Resurrection Stone could lead the user to either waste away or kill themselves.
He merely had to be smart about it. Harry could ask Hermione for help, but even after years with Ron, she still judged many of Ron and Harry's ideas as immature and poorly thought through. Hey, Harry got to one hundred and he sometimes still thought for himself. He even dressed himself in the morning and tied his own shoes without Hermione or Ginny.
Writing a list. Ha, in your face, Hermione. He'd write a list of what he'd like and then he'd be ready to get a written wish of what he'd like to experience.
1. He did not want to be one hundred years old.
2. Considering all the people that could be in it, Harry wanted both his parents. He did not get a chance to know them in life.
His parents. At this mature stage in his life, Harry did not think he could relate to students, and after recalling Snape's memory of how his mum did not like his dad, maybe once they were graduated, married and happy with each other. Harry could help them somehow. Against Voldemort obviously, but not be the savior. He had enough of that in real life. Helping others as part of a team was more like it.
Harry crossed out 1 and 2 on his list after he summed it up – Help his happy parents defeat Voldemort, and be the same age as them.
Quidditch? Hm, maybe he could play a little one on one with his dad, when they had a spare moment. Harry didn't want to overcomplicate this. Sirius, Remus and Dumbledore should be around, and Pettigrew too. Did Peter join shortly before his betrayal or earlier? Harry would have to improvise on what to do about Pettigrew.
Was this too simple? By wishing to help them, they'd have to at least talk to him. Somehow befriend them? Should they know who he was?
After many scribbles and crossed out ideas, Harry looked at 'Befriend and aid his happy parents defeat Voldemort, after they discover Harry is their son who is mysteriously the same age as them.' He was really proud of the 'mysteriously'.
According to Hermione, all he had to was touch the thing and read his carefully worded sentence.