Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Improbability Factor

The Improbability Factor

Disclaimer; I own nada, zip, zilch, nat'ing, zero. There is a void of anything I own here. I have no claims. This is officially a Link-owned-stuff-less zone. Anything you see is not mine. If you had a candy for everything I own in here, you'd be sad.

"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow."
Woodrow Wilson

Chapter 4: Revelations

"Harry, can I speak to you privately for a moment?" Albus Dumbledore asked his student.

"Sure, just a minute," Harry said. "Okay Mrs. Weasley I've got to go," he added, trying to pry her away.

"Yea, mum," Ron spoke up, grinning. "Before you strangle him."

"Oh, sorry, dear, it's just good to see you again, that's all." She let Harry go, and he stumbled for a moment before following the Headmaster out of the room.

The two of them made their way up the stairs as Harry had a look around. The place looked great, at least compared to what it was before. The house elf heads were all gone, as were all of the musty carpets, and the walls had been painted a nice beige color.

Harry had arrived in the house along with Tonks only about ten minutes ago. In that time he'd had the breath squeezed out of him by Hermione and Mrs. Weasley, his hand shaken by Remus, Kingsley and Moody, and got pats on the back by nearly everyone else. Apparently the news of Vernon and Dudley's 'mishap' had already gotten to them, traveling so fast that Hogwarts herself would have been proud.

Harry followed Dumbledore through a door that he'd never noticed before, although it was only three doors down the hall from the room he and Ron had occupied during Christmas and the end of summer last year.

Inside was a sort of study. A solid oak monstrosity of a desk sat off to one side with a couple of chairs in front of it. A nice leather sofa was against the wall on which the door was attached, and there was a window opening to a scenic view directly above it. On the other walls were bookcases filling the entire span from floor to ceiling. These bookcases, along with the rest of the room, would have done a psychiatrist proud.

"Please, have a seat, Harry," the Professor said, taking a seat behind the desk. What is it with this man and desks, Harry thought as he sat, I mean honestly, we could have gone into the living room and sat on those comfy couches. We'd probably be half done by now. Must be some kind of authority kick, Harry mused to himself.

"Harry, I'm sure you must still be a little upset with me for-"

"No, no, don't worry about that," Harry said, shaking his head. "In fact, I wanted to apologize for breaking all your stuff after you told me about the prophecy."

This threw Dumbledore off his stride. He wasn't used to this kind of treatment, this kind of maturity, especially from a student. It bothered the proverbial willies out of him.

"Err," Dumbledore said, unsure of himself. "You're sure? You don't hate me, don't want to show me a little wrath, not even a small spiteful remark?" He added hopefully.

He didn't deserve this. The name of Dumbledore commanded respect. From those who knew him he received nothing short of praise when he did right and complete and utter rage when he did wrong. He'd worked damn long and hard to get that respect, too. Why can't the kid just yell at me?

"Nope." Harry said, leaving the old man almost, nearly, just about convinced. "I've had two months alone to think about things, and-" some of Dumbledore's relief, mistaken for apprehension, must have shown on his face because Harry added hastily, "oh no, don't get me wrong, I don't blame you for that. It's just that I've had two months to thing things through and I've realized that it just doesn't matter. Sure you made a mistake, not telling me about the prophecy, but everyone does that. It would have been useful for me to have heard it earlier, but like you said, 'it doesn't due to dwell on dreams,' right, so I've decided that it just doesn't matter. In short," Harry chuckled happily, "I just don't give a damn."

"Language, Harry," Dumbledore said absentmindedly. He was still trying to take it all in.

"Why, though?" Harry asked. "It's not like it hurts anyone. Damn, d- damn, damn, damn. See?" He spread his arms a bit, as if to make sure Dumbledore took it all in. "We're both fine."

"Hmmm..." The Headmaster mused. "You make a fair point. Okay, I believe you." The Headmaster felt a small twinge of something then. Was it confusion, uncertainty? It didn't matter, so he pushed the thought away.

"Alright, the reason I asked you here is to discuss your future training. However, if there's anything you'd like to talk to me about before we begin, now would be a good time." Here Dumbledore gave him one of his infamous piercing, yet appraising looks that immediately showed Harry that Dumbledore thought that there was something the matter.

Strangely enough, it was only then that Harry noticed one fact that had completely eluded him before then. The man just talks to damn much, Harry realized. Honestly, can't he just say 'are you alright' like anyone else?

"I'm alright," he answered automatically, before he'd even really considered the matter. Dumbledore waved that away just as quickly.

"No, no. You misunderstand, Harry," the man said, though not patronizingly. "I understand that you have overcome your emotions, at least to a certain extent." Dumbledore looked intently at Harry.

"Harry, I told you last year that I've watched you more closely than you could ever have realized. I know you better than anyone else, with perhaps the exception of your friends Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger. I've been inside your mind," he held up a hand. "No, I never used Legilimancy on you, never once have I tried to read into your personal thoughts.

"But I have been in your place, Harry. I have lived your life, and I know exactly what you have gone through. I have also been living my life by the words of someone else. I have also lived my life by prophecy."

Harry sat, trying to take this all in. "You're talking about, I mean, Grindelwald-" Dumbledore cut him off with another wave.

"No, Grindelwald was a mere shadow compared to Voldemort. He believed in the muggle Adolf Hitler's notions through and through. Grindelwald aims were much smaller. He, like Hitler, wanted to destroy a certain religion of people. To this day no one is sure why. Voldemort, on the other hand, wants to completely erase an entire world.

"The other main difference is that I was already 80 years old when this happened, verses you're mere 16 years." He said this just as before, without the slightest bit of condescendence in his voice.

"No, Harry, My prophecy has been different. I was not exactly plagued by war and death, but by politics and concealment. A headache in itself, as I'm sure you can understand based on your own experience in such matters.

"You wonder why it has to be you, do you not? Even though you'd never wish it on anyone else you wonder why it was you who was chosen, why you have to be the one. I have not had these problems myself, as my lot hasn't been near as bad, but by my own experience, combined with my knowledge of you, I can see that." Harry thought on this for a while.

"You're right," he said finally. "I do wonder that. I wonder why I was picked to be everyone's hero. As far as I'm concerned I'm just Harry, but everything still manages to happen to me. It's almost as if I'm living the life of a hero in some story." He sighed heavily. "And I end up thinking that whoever's writing it must be having a blast."

He looked back at Dumbledore, whose eyes were once again twinkling with a sort of unkempt humor.

"Exactly, Harry. You've hit the point perfectly. Live is usually very similar to a novel. We all have are parts to play. For instance, if I said that your part was that of the 'young, misunderstood hero,' would I be that far off?" Harry shook his head, not at all sure where this was going. "Or if I said that Mr. Weasley was the typical 'wisecracking sidekick' and that Miss Granger was your average 'smart - but a little snobbish - heroine,' or even me as," he smiled at the term, "the 'eccentric old wise dude.'"

Harry laughed slightly, though he wasn't quite sure why.

"Oh, I could go on and on with those, such as the Weasley twins and Miss Lovegood as the comic-relief, or Neville Longbottom as the 'poor, blundering boy who nevertheless has a strange affinity with the 'young, misunderstood hero,'' though I'm sure you don't want to hear all of that. The point is that this is what you were meant to do. You see, Harry, the real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else."*

Harry nodded slowly, then paused. That sounds familiar, he thought, and then dismissed it. It wasn't important.

"If I'm supposed to be everybody's hero, though, then why does everyone always turn on me at the drop of a hat when something goes wrong?" Harry asked wearily.

"Oh, that is simply human nature at it's lowest. Wizard's First Rule, Harry; people are stupid. People are so quick to turn loyalties at the slightest possibility that something is wrong. The main reason is because deep down, they want to believe it. It's poetic, you understand."

"Well," Dumbledore said, "if that is all, I think it's about time to wrap things up. I daresay that by now both of us have earned a rest."

"Yea," Harry said, exhausted. This had indeed been a long day. A long /week/, for that matter. He searched his mind, and could hardly believe that it was only yesterday afternoon that he had opened the front door to find that disgustingly cheerful pizza guy on the front step. Yes, he did indeed deserve a break, only... Only there was something missing, something small, somewhere in the dark corners of his mind.

"Yea," Harry repeated, "Yea, it has been a rough day. I must look like the walking dead." He stood up, and the Professor followed his lead.

"Luminous beings we are, Harry," he said, waiving the comment aside, "not this crude matter,"

Harry nodded slightly, then stopped. That feeling of something being forgotten hit again, much heavier than before. Harry thought, what was it he was missing? Then it hit.

Harry looked strangely at the aging professor. "Professor Dumbledore?" The man in question looked thoughtfully at the boy's gaze.

"Yes, Harry?"

"Um... Well, er, that last thing you said," he broke off, not quite sure how to accuse the greatest sorcerer of the age of verbal plagiarism. "Um, well, it sounded really familiar..." He let the un-asked question hang in the air.

Dumbledore, for his part, did his best to look politely curious, failed, then, after realizing that there was no point in denying anything, walked back to the desk, Harry trailing behind.

Harry stared as he watched Dumbledore take a small box out of his pocket and place it on the table. As Dumbledore worked, he described the complicated series of spells and anti-hexes he was using.

At long last, after ten minutes, and the deactivating of two anti-scrying spells, a muggle repellent, one secret-keeper spell, and dozens of other security spells and such that he couldn't even identify, Harry saw a small wizard safe, the kind that made even Gringott's look bad.

As Dumbledore used Legilimancy to disengage the lock via code word, Harry couldn't help but wonder what was inside. This would probably have kept the Sorcerer's Stone safe from Voldemort. But when Dumbledore pulled out his hand, Harry saw, not the secret to magic, or the Staff of Merlin, or even the key to finding Atlantis, but a book..

"You see, Harry," Dumbledore said, holding the book as if it were made of glass. "At my age, it gets a bit difficult to stay original. As wise as I appear, a good bit of it is simply luck." He sighed as he sat down.

"That is why I use this book, a collection of verbalizations from some of the wisest people in history, in order to... appear, to have kept my wisdom fully intact." Very carefully, Dumbledore pressed the book into Harry's hands.

Dazedly, Harry looked at the cover and read the title. 1,001 QUOTES EVERY 'ECCENTRIC OLD WISE DUDE' SHOULD KNOW, by The Wizard Gandalf.


One very interesting fact relating to the subject of myth and legend is that the majority of them are indeed true. One such tale, however, which had been one of the most amazing trials of the free people since the dawn of the written word, was unfortunately lost in the mists of time for millennia forgotten.

The story of the Wizard Gandalf's life is, unbenownst to most people, an accurate one, though, as legends have a way of doing, it was changed here and there for, 'theatrical effect.'

For instance, many people know that Gandalf, like most wizards of the age, was given a name based on his colors, 'Gandalf the Gray,' 'Gandalf the White,' and so on. However, what most failed to learn was that Gandalf was a particularly eccentric man, and utterly failed to be seen in such subtle colors as gray an white, preferring such outlandish dress as bright orange, neon green, and, at his best, when he reached his wisest and most powerful, he was known to all as 'Gandalf the Tie-Dyed.'

Something that even fewer people know is that 'Gandalf' is actually a pseudonym, a 'stage name,' if you will. In the early days of magic, beings with magic worked in harmony with those of the non-magical population. It was less than prudent for a wizard to live for more than eighty years or so, for one reason, so as not to make the mortals jealous, and for another, because that was a thing that only Elves did, and so was generally frowned upon.

As such, it was not uncommon for a wizard to 'die,' disappear for a few years, and emerge in a new place, along with a new identity. Such was the case for one Nicolas Flammel, later known as Gandalf, and known later still, in order to bring back some of his former glory, as one J. R. R. Tolkien.


Some time later, Harry was in his bedroom reading one of the books that Professor Dumbledore had given him when he had a sudden brain storm. He realized that he had far better things to do then sit around reading all day.

Quickly he went to his desk and got out a roll of parchment and a quill. /Dear/- he wrote, then stopped. What was he supposed to call himself, he wondered. Shrugging, he wrote his own name down, trying hard not to think of the fact that he was now writing, and had plans to send a letter to himself, for fear that he might get another headache. He continued.

Dear Harry,

I don't know if you'll find this a bit odd, but how do you expect me to believe any of this.

The mere idea that you, or that is to say I... Whatever. I'm sorry but I refuse to believe it, unless you give me some proof. I don't know what, but I'm sure you'll think of something.

He was going to write a salutation, but then thought writing 'your's sincerely' to himself seemed a bit like the type of thing Lockhart might do. So he quickly signed his name, stuffed the letter into an envelope, and addressed it, "Harry Potter."

Looking over at a clock, he saw that it was already gone midnight, so Harry put the letter down and decided that he would send the letter off tomorrow, and he himself would go as well, following along on his new broomstick, at least part way, as he had some business to take care of in Diagon Alley.
A/N: Mr. Link would like to admit his apologies that this took so long to get out. Furthermore, he would like to express his happiness that the next few ought to be a lot quicker, though he does know that he has promised such before.
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