"You're back much sooner than I expected," a woman of undeterminable age commented as she poured a second cup of tea.
"I'm a bit surprised about it too," Harry agreed as he sat down across the table from the woman. "Not really sure why I'm back so soon either. Aside from the obvious."
The woman made some thoughtful noise before take a sip from her cup. "Ms. Granger," she finally said.
"Hermione?" Harry asked in confusion as he added sugar to his tea. "What does she have to do with this?"
"Well you did say you didn't know why you were back so soon," the woman replied.
"I know but what did Hermione have to do with this?" Harry asked.
The woman set down her cup. "I believe she was jealous."
"Jealous? Of what?" Harry demanded his brow furrowed in confusion.
"Some days you can be incredible stupid, Harry," The woman shook her head a sad smile on her face. "Ms. Granger was in love with you and she saw your flirting with other girls as you cheating on her."
"But… but… Hermione is like a sister to me!" Harry replied.
"Not to her. You were her first and only friend, Harry. Her whole world revolved around you and her books," the woman explained.
Harry sighed before leaning back in his chair. "So it was a bad idea to have the Sorting Hat place her in Ravenclaw instead of Gryffindor."
"Well considering that she decided that if she couldn't have you then no one would then I would think having her sorted into Ravenclaw was a mistake," the woman replied.
Harry snorted. "So what are we up to? 200 and something?"
"275 lives," the woman replied. "And I honestly thought you would have been done with this curse before now."
Harry raises his cup in the air as a salute. "To living a full life and to dying of natural causes, in other words old age. Of course you did forget that the Fates like to play with my life and make it interesting."
"Well you did come close that one time when you decided to become a Dark Lord and rule the world with an iron fist," the woman commented.
"Only to slip on a sliver of soap, hit my head and drown in my own bath. Which I still say is of natural cause," Harry stated.
"Accidental death," the woman replied with a smirk.
"What about the time I died in bed," Harry suggested.
"With the triplets you were sharing it with," the women replied in a teasing tone.
"Sirius made me do it," Harry said in his defense.
"Along with that motorcycle race and the time you joined the polar bear club," the woman reminded Harry.
"No. The polar bear club was Remus' idea," Harry corrected.
The woman shook her head with a smile. "At least you've had a number of interesting lives."
"Some are and some ain't," Harry replied with a shrug of his shoulders. "So aside from not putting Hermione in Ravenclaw again, what do you suggest I do for my next life?"
"What about placing Malfoy in Hufflepuff?" the woman suggested.
"Didn't I do that already?" Harry said. "And if I remember right it was a bad idea since Malfoy learned who the real power behind throne was."
"Hmmm. I seem to remember that. That was one of your early lives when we first started trying to rearrange things," the woman said thoughtfully. "What about placing your Weasley friend in Ravenclaw?"
"Ron in Ravenclaw?" Harry asked in surprise.
Harry and the woman looked at each other before bursting out in laughter.
After the laughter tapered off, Harry commented, "You know that's not a bad idea. Ron is smart in his own way. Not as much of a book learner like Hermione is. Plus he's lazy so most people think he's less intelligent than he really is. Might be a good idea to have the Sorting Hat place him in house of learning."
"How so?" the woman asked. "I don't see how it would be a good mix."
"It would be a bit like how Luna is to Ravenclaw but Ron has the drive to fight back while Luna just accepted it all," Harry replied.
"I don't understand," the woman replied.
"Luna was sorted in to Ravenclaw because she had the drive, the imagination to learn about things that haven't been discovered yet. Most Ravenclaws want to learn about things that are in books; not to go out and discover things," Harry explained.
"They want to be safe in their nest and read about things other people discovered. They don't want to take the risk of being the ones to discover it," the woman stated.
"Yes. No matter what Ron is still a Gryffindor; the ones bold enough to go out there and discover things. He just needs to learn to use his brain to do so. Plus it would get him out of his brothers' shadow since he would be the only Weasley to be sorted into Ravenclaw," Harry explained.
"Or they're break his spirit and turn him to a bean counter," the woman countered.
"That's a possibility," Harry admitted. "So Ron's going into Ravenclaw and Hermione is never going back to Ravenclaw."
"Why don't you put her into Slytherin?" the woman asked.
"Even though she killed me in my last life I really don't want to see her killed," Harry answered.
"Harry," the woman said with a shake of her head, "do you know why Muggleborns aren't sorted into the house of the snake?"
"Because of Pure-blood prejudices and the fact that they would probably kill any Muggleborn," Harry replied.
"Nope," the woman replied with a smirk. "Before the mid-19th century it was quiet common for ambitious Muggleborns and Half-bloods to be sorted into Slytherin. And while some did break as you suggest most rose above it and some others got revenge."
Harry leaned forward in his chair. "Revenge?"
The woman lean back in her chair, a slight smile on her face as she spoke, "It wouldn't be uncommon for students to try their hand at brewing potions that they should not be brewing."
"Love potions. Polyjuice. Turning water into rum," Harry suggested.
The woman shook her head. "You think too small, Harry, although some students did brew the polyjuice for their night time entertainment."
"Night time entertainment?" Harry asked in confusion.
The woman chuckled. "Have you ever wondered what it was like to have sex as a woman, Harry? It have sex with a… oh what was that word... ahh yes, Furries? I'm actual surprised you never played with polyjuice, Harry."
"I prefer my anthropomorphic animals in cartoons and movies and not in my bed," Harry answered. "So if brewing polyjuice was small time stuff, what were they brewing?"
"Feel good potions. Uppers. Downers. A whole range of potions for every mood," the woman replied.
"And one thing I know thanks to multi lives with Neville Longbottom and classes with Malfoy, is that potion accidents happen and every so often are encouraged," Harry stated.
"Bingo," the woman replied as she raised her tea cup up in a toast. "In one particular potion accident the whole of Slytherin was killed except for 5 students. One of who was in the hospital room recovering from a fall down the stairs. Two who were busy inspecting the broom closets. And the last 2 serving detentions."
"And all of them Muggleborns and Half-bloods I'm guessing," Harry said with a smirk
"Four of them were," the woman agreed.
"So was it a real accident or did one of the survivors arrange for it to happen?" Harry asked.
"Arranged but the person who did it was also a victim. He wasn't a very good potion student so he didn't realize that when he added hedgehog spines to the potions it would turn it into a poisonous gas that flooded the whole dorm," the woman explained.
"Killing everyone," Harry shook his head. "And since the survivors were Muggleborns and Half-bloods, they got the blame."
The woman nodded her head. "The survivors were questioned and thanks to the newly discovered potion veritaserum, they were found completely innocent. Of course that didn't stop the Headmaster at the time from having a talk with the Sorting Hat and forcing it to no longer place those students who were less than desirable into Slytherin."
"I'm surprise that the Sorting Hat agreed to that. I know it argues with me each time I suggest where it should place a student," Harry grumbled.
"The Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts has a greater sway over the Sorting Hat than a mere student does. Of course the Sorting Hat is also smart enough to notice trends in the wizard world. It knew that placing a Muggleborn in Slytherin would be a death sentence after that accident," the woman explained. "In time the Sorting Hat will start placing Muggleborn back into Slytherin, once the wizard world has grown up a little bit more. After all it has time to wait."
"So the youngest male Weasley will go into Ravenclaw and Ms Granger back to Gryffindor where she belongs," the woman said. "Who else are you thinking about switching around? Malfoy? Longbottom? Yourself? Perhaps makes a new house for yourself again?
Harry shook his head. "What can I say, I was bored but I learned my lesson. No more House of Harry's Harem. I never realized girls could be so… evil before. I've seen rabid animals that were nicer."
"And the House of Awesomeness?" the woman said with a smirk.
A boyish smile graced Harry's face. "That was fun especially watching Snape foam at the mouth. Don't think I'll do the House of Merlin again. Too many people expect me to be like Merlin right off the bat instead of growing into it."
"True. Too many people believe the myth and aren't willing to look at the man behind the myth. Merlin was rather… geeky at that age. You could create the House of Morgan Le Fay," the woman suggested.
Harry snorted. "Only if I want to be killed. Too many people think of her as evil; as a betrayer of Arthur and Merlin instead of as a strong willed woman."
The woman shook her head. "I blame the Roman influences. People have forgotten the traditions of the people who were rulers of this land. They forget that at one time women were viewed as equals, not as possessions."
"I blame people like Dumbledore for allowing people and a ghost like Binns to teach. Makes history so boring that no one wants to learn about the truth. Teaches it in such a way that your side always looks like the heroes or the victim of some evil powers," Harry grumbled.
"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it," the woman reminded him.
Harry chuckled. "I'm not sure if you are implying the human race, the wizard world or me."
"You at least learn even if it takes you a couple tries to do so," the woman chuckled
"Well going through puberty in each lifetime does affect one's learning experiences. As soon as I hit that magic age it's all boobies and ass," Harry said with a chuckle.
"You're sounding like Sirius again," the woman pointed out.
Harry leaned forward in his chair. He motioned the woman closer like he was about to tell her a great secret. "After a guy hits puberty, we're all pretty much like Sirius to some degree. We never grow up, we just get better toys."
The woman let out a very un-lady like snort. "So true. So true," she shook her head. "And some foolish girl will think she can mold and shape some boy into being a better person with the power of her love."
"I've met a few of them. They think there is something wrong with me and that only they can fix it. They don't understand I am who I am and I don't need to be fixed," Harry grumbled.
"Of course there are some men who think the same thing about women," the woman commented before taking a drink from her cup. "So Harry, what are you planning on doing for your next life?"
Harry reached for the teapot, refilling his cup. Added some sugar and stirred. After taking a sip from the cup, he said, "I think I'll take a vacation."
"A vacation?" the woman said in disbelief.
"Why not?" Harry chuckled. "All those lives… I've pretty much done the same thing. Get my acceptance letter at 11. Got to Hogwarts. Dealt with things while there. Either graduated or died while there. Try to grow old and died but always died before then."
"Well I admit it does sound like you're stuck in a rut. What are you thinking of doing?" the woman replied.
"I'm not sure yet. Probably play it by ear," Harry admitted. "Figure I'll start at age 9 or 10. No point in starting early. Especially don't want to go through diapers and diaper rash again. Hit Gringotts up so I can be declared of head of all those old lines. The empty all those vaults."
"Which will get you killed by goblins instead of some human," the woman pointed out.
"I know. I know but I love to watch them twitch uncontrollably when they lose all that money." Harry sighed. "I'll leave enough money behind to keep the vault active so they won't realize what they've lost."
"And then what?" the woman asked with a smirk on her face
"Free Sirius, of course," Harry answered. "Have him shipped to someplace maybe New Zealand where he can recover from that hell and those back stabbing bastards. After that I'll take my O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.S so Dumbledore can't have me dragged to Hogwarts so I can complete my wizard education."
"I doubt anyone will let you take those test at that age," the woman said.
"The laws are so full of loopholes that you can actually take the test as many times as you want and the highest grade is the only one that counts," Harry replied.
The woman shook her head. "So you can study the hell out of one subject, pass that section and then repeat with the next subject," the woman said. "In the end it looks like you aced the test in one seating instead of how many times you actually took it."
"Got to love how the Pure-bloods wrote the laws. Probably the only way people like Crabbe and Goyle pass," Harry commented.
"So what will you do after that?" the woman asked.
Harry sat for a moment in silence before an evil grin slowly appeared on Harry's face. "Call the crimestopper line."
"The police? Whatever for?" the woman exclaimed, her brow furrowed in confusion.
"Well the young ward of the Mr. and Mrs. Dursley hasn't been seen in month," Harry said innocently. "You don't think he's met with foul play do you? Or been sold off to one of those individuals who like children."
The woman chuckled. "Oh dear. I can picture the mayhem that will come from that. The investigation. The news reports. A complete nightmare not only for the Dursley but those around them."
"People pointing fingers at one another, demanding why they didn't do anything when the obvious signs of abuse were present," Harry added in. "Of course the investigation will probably discover that there are no documents giving me to the Dursleys or proof that Harry Potter was ever born."
"And what about the wizard world? I'm sure that this scandal will reach the ear of some Muggle borns and those with contacts in the Muggle world," the woman said.
Harry shrugs his shoulders. "Nothing will happen. There might be some noise about it but they'll soon dismiss it from their minds after all the Boy Who Lived would never be abused. They'll assume that it's some of poor boy who happens to share the same name. As for Dumbledore… they say a little excitement is good for the heart," Harry said. "Besides I really don't care what happens in the wizard world. I'm going on vacation."
The woman chuckled. "Sun, sand and surf."
"And don't forget snow, skis and hot tubs," Harry added in. "The world is a wild, wild place and I plan on experiencing as much of it as I can before I die from something completely asinine and have to start again."
The woman chuckle. "You know you could actually make it for once. You came pretty close the last time you left the path Fate wrote for you."
Harry snorted. "Someday I will but we both know that it won't happen until I dealt with old Tom. Fate won't let it happen any other way. She's spent too much time of setting everything up perfectly for me to ignore it."
"I can't deny that," the woman said with a shake of her head. "Of course you could always set it up so you can run him over with steamroller like they do in cartoon. I think it was the Roadrunner who did that or some other cartoon character… maybe it was Bugs."
"Only if he can't blow himself back up to being normal again," Harry replied.
"I'm pretty sure that only works in the cartoon. You're more likely to have a red smear on the road," the woman stated.
"And if you remember right we thought the same thing with I put a bullet in his head. And then the time I blew up while he was on his throne."
"I think Fate objected because it was his porcelain throne," the woman pointed out.
"Yes and I took that into account when I used a rocket launcher. The only time he stays dead is when I used magic or I re-enact a scene from Highlander," Harry grumbled.
"Fate actual really loves that show," the woman added in. "Of course Destiny prefers Conner over Duncan while Fate has a thing for Duncan."
"Let me guess… you like Methos," Harry said with a knowing smile.
A blush came to the woman's cheeks. "Well," she said as she raised her cup to her lips, "he is a handsome man."
Harry shook his head wearily. "My life is in the hands of fan-girls."
"And boys. Of course they're more into James Bond, John McClane and Lara Croft," the woman replied.
"High tech toys, big booms and a mighty fine ass," Harry translated.
The woman nodded her head. "I think here were a few comments on world's perfect breast too."
"Not too surprised by that however I'm surprise they're not an Arnold or Stallone fan," Harry commented.
"Oh they enjoy those actors too but the all-around favorite action character is John McClane," the woman explained.
"For the big booms," Harry said with a smirk.
"Oh no," the woman replied with a knowing smile. "They like McClane because they're closet romantics."
Harry blinks a couple times. "Correct me if I'm wrong but I though John McClane was the hero in the Die Hard movies."
The woman nodded her head. "Tell me, Harry. What exactly did McClane do in the movies?"
"Kill bad guys and blow shit up," Harry answered.
"And why did he do that?"
"Because they were bad guys," Harry replied.
"Because they threatening the life of his wife, the woman he loves. He was the knight in armor going out to slay the dragon and save the damsel in distress," the woman explained. "Of course that's not to say they don't love Arnold in True Lies especially with Curtis dancing in that outfit.
Harry slowly nodded his head. "Yeah they're fan boys."
"But you have to admit at least they have taste but let's get back to more important things namely your vacation," the woman said.
"Not much else to say," Harry replied with a shrug of his shoulder. "I plan to do as little as possible and have the much fun as I can while doing it."
"Can't ask for more out of life," the woman replied raising her cup up into the air as a salute.
"Some might disagree with you about that," Harry commented.
The woman sighed, "And it will probably be one of the fanboys quoting Conan the Barbarian. Something about crushing your enemies, see them driven before you and to hear the lamentation of their women."
Harry raised a single eyebrow at the woman's comment.
"I am not a fanboy… I mean girl of Conan," the woman growled.
"Ok," Harry answered with a small smile.
"Men!" the woman said in disgust. "Get out of here! Go on your vacation.
Harry rose from his chair and with a slight bow said, "As you wish." And with that Harry vanished like he had never been there at all.
The woman let out a very un-lady like snort.
"He's a bit of a fanboy, isn't he," a man said as he suddenly appeared beside her.
"No more than anyone else," the woman replied.
"True," the man sat down in the chair Harry has just vacated; throwing one leg over the arm of the chair as he relaxed into it.
The woman gave the man a tolerant smile.
"So do you think he'll make it this time," the man asked.
"It depends on Fate and Destiny and you know how those two are," the woman replied.
The man let out a snort. "They can't give agree on what color the sky is."
"You should hear them argue over the toppings for a pizza," the woman replied. "They can't even agree to get separate pizzas instead of one pizza. Some days I think they argue just for the sake of arguing."
"They probably do," the man chuckled. "I think the boy will do it this time."
"You think so?" the woman replied with a smirk.
"Well if the boy can kill that fool with something out of a cartoon I would almost guarantee it," the man stated.
"How so?" the woman demanded, her brow furrowed in confusion.
The man leaned forwards in his chair. "Just picture Fate and Destiny's reaction to the fool's death if that boy ran him over with a steamroller or dropped an ACME safe on his head."
The woman paused for a moment before placing her head into her hands. "Oh dear," she said with a chuckle.
"Yeap! One of them will be screeching like a banshee while the other one rolls of the floor, laughing insanely," the man said.
"And then they'll start arguing again and completely forget about Harry," the woman stated.
The man nodded his head. "And allow the boy to grow old and died peacefully which will allow you to collect him and end the curse."
"And after that I think I'll take a vacation and leave someone else in charge for once," the woman commented.
The woman shook her head. "No. While I admit that was my original plan, those two screwed it up too much. Harry won't be able to take up the duties so soon after living so many lives. No. I'll have to find someone else to take my place or wait until Harry recovers enough."
"Well don't forget I'm always available if you need a break," the man said.
"I remember what happened last time I left you in charge," the woman commented.
"And do you remember how much less work you came back to," the man replied.
"That's because almost everyone was dead!" the woman replied.
"And that's a problem why?" the man asked with a cheeky smile.
"Get out of here," the woman commanded with a shake of her head.
With a cocky salute the man vanished from the chair leaving the woman alone.
The woman sighed wearily. "Those two are either going to be like oil and water or as thick as thieves." The woman said to herself as she poured a fresh cup of tea. She then sighed once again. "Who am I kidding they're going to be worse than thieves."
The woman sipped her tea before saying, "It might be a good thing. I can see those two teaming up to teach Fate and Destiny a lesson about screwing around with people's lives. Of course I have to introduce Harry to Karma. She's such a nice polite girl. I'm sure they'll best friends the instant they meet."