Couples walked through Central Park in pairs; homeless men and women lounged in the grass, and joggers took advantage of the beautiful day.
A cool breeze tugged at the collar of Harry's overcoat as he leaned back in the park bench, observing the people as they went about their business. Brilliant green eyes lazily traced the patterns of light and shadow on the ground that shifted as the wind ruffled the leaves on the trees. It was beautiful, Harry mused to himself, almost perfect. Then he blinked, and the world washed out into black and green, numbers covering every surface, and whipping through the air as they went about their business. This too, was beautiful in a way. The program for the breeze was especially busy as it flitted around the park, making the trees sway, and tracing over the exposed skin of the people walking by. Harry watched in amusement as the breeze program hesitantly approached him, as if self-conscious, tracing over his face and hands, ruffling his messy hair, and tugging at his collar before moving on.
Harry felt him before he saw him. He could feel the ripples of his presence all around, making him smile slightly. Programs were such gossips. Of course the man was hardly subtle. Shining brilliant gold, he stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the green. As Harry studied the numbers, the man finally spotted him, a slight shift in the number order that was quickly suppressed betrayed for a fraction of a second the man's surprise. Harry blinked again, and the asian features and white business suit of the man strolling in his direction came into focus. It was just too easy to read the code.
He turned back to his people-watching as the man finally reached him, sitting beside him on the bench without saying a word. He didn't have to. For several minutes they sat in silence before Harry broke it.
"So, the old bat didn't tell you who you'd be meeting, huh?"
The man pursed his lips and replied in an accented voice, "No, I was merely told that I would know when I arrived."
Harry laughed, "She's becoming more and more ambiguous in her old age. Maybe she's been spending too much time with the humans."
"Maybe you haven't been spending enough." There was a faint rebuke in the man's tone. Harry grinned, and it was all teeth.
"I spend a ton of time with humans. They're interesting."
The man didn't dignify that with a response, and Harry pouted, looking ridiculous as he did so, "You're no fun, Sherif. So what does the almighty and powerful Oracle want with little, old me?"
Sherif glanced at him in slight surprise, "Don't you know?"
Harry scoffed, "Of course I know! You don't get to be as old as I am without knowing a hell of a lot." Harry's grin was razor sharp, "The question is, does the Oracle have the right incentive."
"You shouldn't need the incentive," Sherif chided.
Harry chuckled, "You don't live as long as I have by doing anything for free, either."
Sherif grimaced before reaching into his pocket and retrieving a data chip, discretely passing it to Harry who slipped it into his own pocket without looking at it.
"We were able to find a programer that perfected an anomaly that you have been interested in," Sherif explained, before shaking his head. "Though what you want with a flying broom I'll never know."
A huge grin burst across Harry's face, his eyes sparkling with suppressed excitement, "There's nothing more fun than flying with a broom!"
Sherif eyed him, "Couldn't you fly anyway?"
Harry flicked his fingers, dismissively, "It's not the same."
"If you say so."
Harry nodded as if that settled everything, "I do! And while I'm at it, I also say that you can consider your little hero part of the Harry Potter life-ensuring program."
Sherif nodded, "That's a relief," though his tone said it was anything but. Then he eyed Harry carefully for his reaction as he said, "Be extra cautious, we have a feeling that this may be the last one."
Harry's hummed noncommittally, keeping his half-smile and fiddling with the data chip in his pocket as he watched a women push a stroller by their bench. Sherif waited a few seconds before sighing, "Cant't you tell us anything?"
Harry glanced at him, "Why not ask the Frenchman? After all, 'Et iz hiz business to know!'" he said in a bad french accent.
Sherif's eye twitched, "Yes, but he's hardly…agreeable."
Harry chuckled, "That's putting it lightly. But anyway, you probably know more about what's coming. I don't put much stock in the future. That's the Oracle's shtick."
Sherif didn't press the issue, he knew he wouldn't get any further on the subject, so he changed it, "Do you know where to find him?"
"I told you, I've had to know these things to live as long as I have."
Sherif eyed him in disbelief, "There's no way you could know. The Agents haven't found him yet."
Harry shook his head mockingly, "Ah, poor, naive Sherif. Just because the Agents are useless doesn't mean that more informed individuals don't know where your little Chosen One is."
Sherif's head whipped around to face Harry full-on in shock, "Then why…?"
Harry scoffed, cutting him off, "Those geezers won't deal with this little hornet until he makes a nest in their bedroom, and even then they'll be slow about it. Why do you think I'm still alive?"
"That's a good question," Sherif muttered, not looking at all reassured.
Harry ignored him, instead watching as the breeze program played with a falling leaf, buffeting it like a cat played with a dangling string, before letting it settle to the ground.
The conversation was obviously over, but Sherif was hesitant to leave. No matter what he said, Harry Potter was a lot more well-informed than even he knew. He had friends everywhere, and this could be his only chance in a while to pick his brain, if only he wasn't so damn evasive!
With a sigh, Sherif gave it up as a lost cause, and made to stand up, only to pause as Harry commented idly, "I'd stick around if I were you. I have it in good authority that the Frenchman is going to take a dive in the lake in the next hour."
Sherif shook his head in disbelief, sitting back down, "Who's authority?"
A smile curled around Harry's mouth, green eyes sparkling mischievously, "Mine."