As far as Kingsley Shaklebolt's concerned, Harry Potter is the only fool brazen enough to so blatantly toe the line that violates the Statute of Secrecy.
Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic of eighteen years, gingerly picked his way through the mass of muggles swarming the bookstore called 'Borders'. He had not the time nor mind to admire the clean-cut and modish architecture of the building (for wizards never needed to bother with geometry or build when a few flicks of the wand would right any weak points), he had a destination to reach. A destination thirty feet away.
A destination that seemed to take him a lifetime to cover.
Indeed, the journey was a slow one; despite his sizable stature, the pressure of writhing bodies from all sides made it most difficult to advance. Every now and then he would do a double take, falter in his step, swear he saw another witch or wizard in the crowd before realizing it was simply a muggle dressed as such.
Why did that migraine of a manhave to describe their dress code so accurately?
He gladly would have apparated for time's sake if it were not a blatant breach of the Statue of Secrecy...the very reason he chose to make a personal appearance at a book signing in the muggle world in the first place.
Finally, he reached the front of the crowd, pushing past the last barrier of people and casting a silent confundus charm on the few policemen keeping the assemblage under control. He easily passed their guard and strode around the display table to the dark-haired man seated on the side facing the crowd, signing off autographs with one of those intriguing muggle quills. Stacks of books and posters piled high on either side of the famed author with seven specific books perched upright and on display.
Joanne Rowling and the Philosopher's Stone
Joanne Rowling and the Chamber of Secrets
Joanne Rowling and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Joanne Rowling and the Goblet of Fire
Joanne Rowling and the Order of the Phoenix
Joanne Rowling and the Half-Blood Prince
Joanne Rowling and the Deathly Hallows
On each was signed "H.J. Potter".
"Does your administration know where you are?"
It took Kingsley a moment to realize that Harry Potter was talking to him, despite appearing to have all his attention focused on the gushing couple in front of him. The pair of dithering muggles didn't seem to find anything weird about the statement, if they even heard it at all.
Doublespeak charm. Clever.
"Does your wife know where you are?" Kingsley countered, stopping right behind Potter. He kept his hands clasped in front of his hips and his back rigid. Dark, sharp eyes made large, steady sweeps across the mob. There was something about being around Potter that made him feel like he had to revert into Auror mode.
"My wife isn't crazy...and she'll forgive me for indulging on personal hobbies."
"Unlike my administration," Kingsley smiled lightly before turning rueful. "You know, there are still several of the Wizengamot that interpret this as a major infraction of the Statute of Secrecy. Miles Millrace tried to bring up another indictment."
"You'd think after the last seven times I got off he'd give it a rest. Doesn't he have a life outside of failing to discredit me?"
The minister sighed. Sometimes Potter's lack of concern concerned him.
"You do understand, Mr. Potter, that regardless of how you did it, you still revealed our world to the muggles--,"
"Without even revealing our world," Harry smiled beatifically at the next customer in line, who immediately started rhapsodizing about his brilliance. "You are the one who pushed for me the write a biography of my life leading up to the war...you and half the wizarding socialites."
"And I meant a biography--for wizards to read--not a children's book for muggles!" Kingsley expressed his exasperation with a throw of his hand.
"The war only ended in the last twenty years, and it was bad for both sides. There are many who could make the connection-,"
For the first time since Kingsley arrived, Potter turned to look at him. The latest sycophant on the other side of the table rambled their praises without even realizing the author's lack of attention.
"They've called it El Nino, terrorist attacks, elaborate pranks," Harry listed off. "Hell, I've even heard events blamed on aliens. Aliens. You know how adamant muggles are about denying what's right in front of them. There are departments in your government that aren't even needed. Really, who needs obvliviators when the muggles have their imagination?"
"You mean our government," Kingsley corrected. The other man turned back to the next open book cover shoved under his nose.
Harry Potter was probably the only Head the MLE in history to despise politics so much.
"This became a little too noticeable for comfort, you realize that, don't you? There are gangs of muggles actively seeking us out."
"They're harmless--generally laughed at by their own society. And they're not gangs, they're called fanclubs. I have them I both worlds. Don't be jealous."
"No, Joanne Rowling has them in them muggle world," Kingsley gladly pointed out, looking down on the cover of the first book; an awkward, skinny, strawberry blonde child with a brilliant red scar on her forehead was painted in a frozen, diving position on a broom. Kingsley lost count of how many "look-a-likes" he had to shove out of his way just to get where he was standing.
"Ah, but I created her, and people thank me for that everyday."
"You made yourself a girl..." It was one of the things Kingsley had always wondered about, but never got the chance to ask.
To his credit, Potter didn't so much as blush.
"And let me tell you, it was quite interesting to relive my childhood in a different gender. I'll admit I had to ask for help from Hermione at some points. Why do you think I didn't release this in the wizarding world?"
"You know, there are obviously wizards who still got a copy of it."
"It's not like anyone I worked with reads them, and the only people better at deniability than muggles are wizards. Most wizards don't believe half the shit I went through in a world where my circumstances were technically possible. But people will freely believe it if it's supposed fake."
He had Kingsley there. Had the minister never known Potter personally and had read the books for leisure, he would have never made the connection between the renowned hero and the "girl-who-lived". It was as though some muggle author just happened to stumble across the hyphenated name and built a fairy-tail from it. After all, in what world would a school allow children to battle basilisks? Certainly not Hogwarts--not as far as the parents were concerned.
"You've explained how to make Horcruxes..." Kingsley deadpanned. Mentioning organizations such as the Order of the Phoenix didn't matter much when Voldemort was destroyed for good. But there were several pieces of information he felt Potter should have left out. Such as the incantation for the killing curse.
Harry smiled and signed off on another person's book--this one an overweight pre-teen that had on a blonde wig and waved around a shoddily whittled tree branch.
"I did not, actually, all I mentioned was how to split the soul--nothing of the incantations or rituals involved."
Kingsley's eyes widened.
"So you did find that out."
"Yes. And no, I have not made myself a horcrux of my own."
"I never implied that you had!" Kingsley asserted, aghast. For someone to know how to create a horcrux in this day and age was a scary thought, but Kingsley had strong faith in someone with Potter's character.
The tall man straightened and sighed for the umpteenth time that day, brushing some wrinkles out of his suit. He didn't know why he bothered to change clothes; no one would have looked twice at his robes in a place like this.
"Very well," Kingsley said. "I'll take your word for it this time."
"You weren't worried," Potter intoned. "You just wanted an excuse to get away from your minders."
Kingsley chuckled deeply and laid a heavy hand on the younger man's shoulder.
"I'll keep Millrace on a short leash; but I'll still have to keep an eye on the response to these books. You have to admit, we have every right to be concerned."
"Do what you must," Harry sniffed. "But if you want my advice, get a hobby and write some autobiographies for the muggles. You can't imagine how much extra cash you can make doing this--these people are desperate in every sense of the word."
The dark-skinned man flicked his eyes over the sea of muggles dressed as wizards and realized not many were physically attractive to begin with.
"If I ever find myself that eager for cash, I'll consider the option," Kingsley droned and turned to brave the death trap of desperate muggles. Perhaps he would be able to weave off to the side and apparate between some bookcases. He didn't think he would make it all the way to the exit going against the grain.
"See you Monday," his head auror bid farewell with most of his attention on the next fan in line.
"That you will, Mr. Potter."
Kingsley took one step forward and paused.
"By the way, your epilogue read a little flat."
Harry started at the indication that Kingsley actually read the books, botching his next signature, before digesting the parting statement.
"Hey, I--," he paused, realizing that the minister had already left. Harry sighed and turned back to his task, a small smile on his lips.
"It's a children's book, you old bastard," he spoke as though Kingsley could still hear him. "Happy endings don't include affairs, divorces, and unplanned pregnancies."
Come on, that cookie-cutter crap Rowling fed us for a perfect epilogue couldn't have been entirely accurate. You know you're with me on this. So what do you think? Is Rowling really a witch telling her story through children's books?