Harry realized now that he probably should've eaten before he left or brought some food with him. All he had was his school bag with contents limited to text books and potions ingredients. He would not be eating any of the potion ingredients. He considered gnawing on a text book. Hedwig was doing quite fine on her own. There were plenty of mice and other small animal prey in the fields on either side of the Golden Road. The poor small animal prey, so confused by the appearance of an owl during the day time. But Hedwig was indeed nocturnal, so Harry had brought her cage with him. When she settled in he had quite the time trying to carry her. Hedwig was less than pleased by this. Harry didn't really care, he was too hungry. And thirsty. Poor Harry added these to his "to-angst about" list. Sort of like a to do list only not written down and more influenced by hormones.

Harry had a number of other grievances and his list was growing. Although it wasn't all thoughts completed well enough to form words, it looked something like this.

Harry James Potter's To-Angst List #62784

dead parents

dead godfather

death eaters are out to get me

Voldemort is trying to kill me

my arm hurts, Hedwig is too heavy

I have a wedgie and there's nothing I can do about it because Hedwig is in one hand and my bag is obstructing the other

I'm hungry

I'm thirsty

I still hurt from the house landing

I can't remember what the hell I was doing in the Shrieking Shack

where the hell am I now?

this stupid road is too shiny and it's hurting my eyes

my hair is in my face AND IT WILL NEVER STAY IN PLACE

shit, I just rhymed

everything bad happens to me

this is so boring

I wish I were at the Burrow where people actually love me

if I were at the Burrow it'd probably get attacked by one of the many people out to get me

And so on. The only thing Harry was grateful for were his new *~*~awesome~*~* snake-skin sneakers, which were keeping his feet quite comfortable. Harry was sure that, with his luck, had he worn his own shoes he'd have a blister on a blister by now. But he was not pleased by the fact that his robes seemed to match all the houses he walked past. By some freakish coincidence or way overdone trend all the houses, round walls and domed roof, were painted crimson red. Other, better adjusted and less angsty individuals might have found it festive. Or unnerving. But to be Harry Potter was to angst (see aforementioned list for further evidence.) All Harry really wanted to do was to speak in CAPS LOCK, EXCLAMATION MARK FURY. Instead he had a stupid quest to fulfil if he ever wanted to get back to Hogwarts.

Towards the end of the day Harry was exhausted and he still had a wedgie. It was amazing that he was still sane. Harry was in the midst of wondering in what bush he would have the misfortune of sleeping in when he came upon a larger house elf's house that was hosting a celebration of some sort. Some of the elves ran towards the perimeter of fence to bow low to Harry. The celebration must have been in honour of the death of the wicked witch and what a pleasure it was for them for ~THE HARRY POTTER~ to walk right past the house. A few ushered Harry onto the property to join it.

The second he stepped over the shin-high, fence food was shoved down his throat. It was very much a case of be careful what you wish for. Harry would look back at this moment and be amazed that he managed not to choke. At the present time he only made a mental note to thank Mrs. Weasley for preparing him for this sort of event. And once the food started to come at a slower pace and butterbeer was included in the mix, Harry almost sort-of began to enjoy himself. If it weren't for the four drunken house elves that took it upon themselves to supply the party with music by singing, he would be sort-of enjoying himself.

The house elf that owned the house was particularly glued to Harry, yet still somehow managed to make food and drink appear in front of Harry's face; no matter how far away from the refreshment table they were. His name was Dobby.

"You must be being a great sorcerer, sir," he said.

"Hmmphhhnggg?" Harry asked through a mouthful of cauldron cake.

"Because you wear the snake-skin sneakers, sir. And you wear gold, the colour of good witches and wizards, sir."

"*~*~Awesome~*~* snake-skin sneakers," Harry corrected, "And these are my school robes. They're black with crimson and gold trim."

"It is very kind of you to wear that, sir. Crimson is the colour of the house elves, good sir," Dobby said.

Harry chose to ignore the fact that he was still wearing mostly black, which probably didn't represent house elves or good wizards, and went along with it. That and his mouth was still full. The argument wouldn't make it past "Hdmmpphh" or "Mmmmphggg", as strongly worded as that would have been. Besides, he was a wizard and he had saved the house elves (no matter how accidental and illogical of a rescue it was).

When Harry had eaten himself into exhaustion and Hedwig had flown off to do owly things, Dobby brought him inside to the guest room. And although the house itself was human sized, it was quite obvious the bed was not. Harry improvised and used the mattress as a pillow and slept on the floor. It was all rather unfortunate. All the same, Harry eventually fell asleep and dreamt of Voldemort attacking him with delicious cakes and deadly crumpets and such and such.

The morning was very much a repeat of the evening before, only the cakes were replaced with toast and the butterbeer with pumpkin juice. When Harry felt that he could get away with opening his mouth without have food shoved in, he asked Dobby a question.

"How far is it to the Philosopher's City?"

"Pardon me, sir, but I do not know, sir." Dobby's answer was an apologetic wail. He began to eye the oven. "I have never been there, sir. It is a long way, I know that. It will take you many days, sir, and not all the places you will pass through will be as friendly as this. Perhaps sir, it is best you stay here."

Harry shook his head. He need to get back to Hogwarts and the great wizard Dumbledore was the only person who could help. Hogwarts was his home, after-all. Besides, if he stayed here he'd eternally have indigestion. He had enough things to angst about (again, see aforementioned list.) No, Harry put Hedwig back in her cage and bade the house elf good-bye. And just as he left, a rogue bludger came hurling at him. Harry ducked and pulled out his wand.

"Finite Incantatem!"

'Odd that I'd use that spell', Harry though, 'It's meant to remove the effects of any other spells that have been cast, not destroy things.' Then the bludger hit him in the arm.

"Holy jesus, MOTHER OF PEARL!" Harry exclaimed. The blow had forced him to drop Hedwig's cage and she had sworn in exactly the same way, just in Owlese and not English or any other human language. The pain in Harry's arm was excruciating and the bludger, having zoomed off, was turning back towards him.

"Reducto!" Harry yelled, this time using what was probably the correct spell.

This time the rogue and random bludger exploded into bitty bits of bludger, very similar to the type of shrapnel that gouges your eyes out. Luckily, Harry ducked and covered his face with his good arm. Shards of bludger embedded themselves into his sleeve, but did not puncture skin. Not that Harry would have noticed, his "to-angst list" had now been reduced to:

Harry James Potter's To-Angst List #62796


It was almost peaceful.

Harry pointed his wand to his arm and cast "episkey." His arm had not quite been injured into breaking, the bludger having caught it at a preferable angle. Well, more preferable of an angle than no angle at all.

"Bloody hell, you have some mad dodging skills, don't you?"

Harry spun around, trying to find who had spoken. The voice lacked the peculiar pitch of a house elf, so Harry was looking for someone his size.

"Up here a bit."

Harry adjusted his line of vision and saw a scarecrow hanging off a pole in the field adjacent to him.

"I'd like to have seen you do better," Harry said.

"Well I wouldn't have had to, would I? I'm made of straw, I can't get injured by bludgeoning. Think you can get me down from here?"

The scarecrow wriggled on his pole, trying to determine exactly how he was attached so he could free himself. For a moment, Harry considered leaving the scarecrow to his own devices but came to the conclusion he could use any vaguely human companionship he could get. This scarecrow was certainly better than some house elf.

Harry went around the back of the pole to find the knots holding the scarecrow in place. After untying them, the scarecrow was unceremoniously dropped to the ground. They way he landed would have injured him if it could have.

"Thanks for that, mate," he said. "Funny looking stick you have there, I have one too."

The scarecrow pulled a wand out of its back pocket and waved it around. Harry ducked whenever it was pointed remotely close to him.

"Watch it. That's a wand. You could blow my head off if you're not careful."

"Oh, right. Knew that. Sorry. The name's Ron by the way. Who are you?"

After a life of fame for first banishing Voldemort and then; for a shorter period of time; killing a wicked witch, Harry was offended by the lack of recognition. Despite both instances of heroism being complete flukes and lacked any expended effort on Harry's part.

"I'm Harry Potter. The Boy Who Lived. The Angsty Teenager Who Just Killed The Wicked Witch Of The East," he said, puffing out his chest.

"That last title's a bit less catchy than the first. Is there something wrong with your chest?"

Harry deflated slightly. Choosing to ignore Ron's question, he asked one of his own.

"Do you know where the Philosopher's Stone City is?"

"The what? I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't have a brain you see. Nothing I can do about it, watch."

Ron waved his wand and said, "ACCIO BRAINS."

Nothing happened.


Harry sighed.

"All right, you better come with me. The great wizard Dumbledore might be able to get you a brain or something. "

"Sounds good, have nothing better to do, should I carry that owl for you? I don't get tired and I hardly think your arm's up to it after that injury."

Harry was at least grateful for this. It even took some items off his reformed "to-angst list." Many things had been added to it after his arm had stopped distracting him. Now he wouldn't have to worry about having eternal wedgies.

"Yes, thank you. That would be helpful."

Ron picked Hedwig's cage up off the ground. Hedwig was extremely peeved at having been left side-ways this whole time and tried to peck at him through her bars. (May she have mercy on Harry's face upon her release at night-time.)

"Hmm, violent, isn't it? Oh well, there's only one thing I'm afraid of anyway."

"Spiders?" Harry guessed on a whim.

"Well, two things I guess. But I was going for fire."


Enough with the caps. Thanks for all two of the reviews. You guys rock, don't ever change.

P.S. Sylvie-morose, that idea smells more like the most epic Mary Poppins crossover of all time to me. Oooh man.