I'm just a guy on vacationMake A Wish
is a Harry Potter fic written by Rorschach's Blot
After the events of Order of the Phoenix
, Harry decides that he doesn't particularly want to simply go off and die in a final confrontation with Voldemort, at least not without having a chance to see a bit of the world first. What follows is a vacation that spans the summer (and a good part of the fic), and takes Harry, under the alias Mr. Black, through several countries, adventures, and more than a few dead Death Eaters.
It also has a sequel, The Hunt For Harry Potter
, by the same author, along with numerous fan-made omakes and sequels that can be found on his Yahoo Group
or the fanfiction.net community Black Ink
Make A Wish provides examples of:
- Achievements in Ignorance: Many of Mr. Black's accomplishments are completely unknown to him.
- Becoming the Mask: At the end of the story after Harry kills Voldemort, he decides to leave his old life behind and embrace the Mr. Black persona fully.
- Berserk Button: When you murder an innocent child, Mr. Black will have no restraint in dealing with you.
- Brick Joke: In one of the earlier chapters, Luna and her father mention a holiday they proposed to the Ministry called "National Yell At Your Daughter Day." Later they are, indeed, yelling at the top of their lungs at each other, until Luna decides that it's just not the same without the ducks.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Everyone thinks that Mr. Black is pretending that he doesn't know what is going around him, and is just goofing off. They also think that he is so good at everything he does that he can not only afford to, but might do horrible things to those that dare ruin his fun; since everyone IS better off, even if scared and/or stressed in the end, they let him get away with it. Of course, Harry is genuinely oblivious when he speaks, but no-one knows that.
- Butt Monkey: Harry; he spends a good deal of time bemoaning his awful luck. At one time, he makes an unfortunately-phrased comment about destroying civilizations in a past life, so his current one is thus cursed; later still, he thinks he may be the universe's spittoon. It can go either way, depending on the reader's opinion, although being ignorant of his accomplishments means that Harry doesn't get to see any silver lining to the unpleasant situations he gets into.
- Catch Phrase: When asked for more details on who he is, Mr. Black will invariably reply: "I'm just a guy on vacation."
- It's even used to identify him, as only the real Mr. Black responds like that. Harry does because he just wants a vacation, while everyone else thinks he's being a Humble Hero.
- Coming-of-Age Story: This is a Harry Potter fic, so that's to be expected.
- Contrived Coincidence: This happens a lot. It is implied that these coincidences are actually planned out by the members of a family that can see the future, led by the Diagon Alley shopkeeper that sold Harry his travel hardware. This is better seen with the wizard Wormtail buys the Portkeys from: he always sends them to where Mr Black is going to be or nearby, but in such a way that it is lethal (or almost lethal) for the Death Eaters.
- It's also possible that the coincidences happen because of Harry's insane luck. On one occasion he wanders through a casino, and places a single bet. A bet that wins so big, the casino investigates it, turning up a cheat in the process.
- Cool Bike: Thanks to Harry's insane luck at gambling, he wins one of these in America. The Professor asked if he could modify it, and Harry agreed - his only specific request was to have it fly, but otherwise gave the Professor free reign to add anything he wanted besides of that. The Professor and Henchgirl got some like-minded friends, and even made a contest out of who could put the most features in. After all of that, it could shrink to pocket-size, drop oil slicks, shoot spells, fly, change license plates, and even has a pooka - a ghost horse - bound to it so that it never needs fuel, can act by itself if needed, and occasionally project the image of the pooka itself.
- Confusion Fu: One of the traits that law enforcement find the most perturbing about Mr. Black is his unpredictability. They cannot track him accurately nor tell what he is going to do at any given moment, and that, for someone of his perceived power, is incredibly scary.
- The use of simple, easy-to-use everyday utility spells to gain an edge is discussed at length. It starts with the use of a cosmetic spell (for quick tanning) against vampires, and earns Mr. Black the reputation of a tactical genius. After all, those utility spells are plentiful, made to be quick, easy to learn and cast, and any wizard in the world has dozens of them practiced; their use in combat will most definitely catch someone off-guard, since virtually no-one thinks of having a defense against them.
- Demonstrated when a student at Hogwarts uses a Breast Expansion spell on a practice duel against a guy to throw him for a loop, upset his balance, and win the duel. The girl in question was inspired by Mr. Black's use of a cosmetic spell, of which she knows several (from girly magazines), to deadly effect.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Several. After the Lestranges' gruesome end, Mr. Black earned a reputation of getting 'creative' with people that anger him.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Played with. Mr. Black is believed to have been a Dark Lord who destroyed civilizations in a previous life and is now The Atoner. That doesn't stop him from scaring pretty much everyone.
- Later in the story, it is believed that one of those civilizations was Atlantis. Since, if they were willing to exile a wizard for being "too weak" (and that was Merlin!), it worried everyone to think what they would do to non-Purebloods... and Mr. Black's hatred towards Blood Purists is very well-known.
- The Dreaded: Mr. Black. Death Eaters would rather go to Azkaban than risk the chance that Mr. Black might kill them in a horribly gruesome way
- Failsafe Failure: Justified and invoked. The wizard who made the Portkeys that the Death Eaters used deliberately left out important safety features because he doesn't like how they treat him.
- Flock of Wolves: Inverted. By the end of the story, there are just twenty-something Death Eaters left, and it turns out all of them are actually spies for the Ministry or any other government group. They all decide to report to their bosses on the same night Voldemort's Headquarters are destroyed.
- This, itself, is interpreted by them as an inversion of the Make It Look Like an Accident trope; obviously it was the work of Mr. Black, for who else would be able to arrange that every guard in rotation be the spies? And have them all outside of the building as they are reporting back to their bosses? And have it seem like it was a random gas leak? Only Black.
- Genre Savvy: Death Eaters soon begin to balk at the idea of taking a Portkey with Wormtail, knowing that few to none Death Eaters come back from attacking Mr Black.
- The Grim Reaper: After Harry picks up a scythe, many people think he's the personification of Death, or possibly what inspired the Grim Reaper in the first place.
- Good Is Not Nice: Just because Mr. Black helps out the local law enforcement does not mean that he won't resort to extreme measures when they aren't looking.
- Guilt Complex: Harry's got one of these, and it only gets bigger after he finds out what everyone expects out of "Mr. Black."
- Hand Wave: Done literally at one point.
Harry: Why can't [the zeppelin] use the same enchantments as the Knight Bus?
The Professor: That won't work. *waves his hand dismissively* The... would you excuse me? *runs off to chase down Henchgirl*
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- Hyper Competent Sidekick: Henchgirl, to the Professor. In fact, the only reason she got the title of "Hench" is because the Professor won a coin-toss.
- I Never Told You My Name/I Never Said It Was Poison: Accidentally. When he arrives to Marseilles and gets attacked by a Squib serial killer (armed with a magical knife), Harry is interrogated by one Auror, who calls him Mr Black at the end of the interview. Harry jokes about how fast they arrived (not knowing they were following him) and then tells the Auror's healer that the interviewer's technique was so good he does not even remember giving him his name. The Aurors take these quite seriously.
- I Know You're Watching Me: Accidentally. In his visit to Netherlands, Harry spends the day visiting museums and admiring art, and at he end of it he compares the masterpieces to Hogwarts' moving paintings, calling the latter's painters "Amateurs". The surveillance agents tailing him take it to mean that he knew they were there all along, and unwittingly start the belief that Mr. Black is an old professional that knows all of the tricks. Later incidents, particularly those in France (he gets fed up with having to stand on a line to see anything right when the French Aurors were trying to get into his hotel room), further this belief until everyone thinks he might as well be nigh-omniscient, having pretty much written the book before books existed, and is just pretending he doesn't know because he's got a twisted sense of humor.
- Improbable Weapon User: when Harry gets attacked by Dementors at Diagon Alley after he returns, instead of using his Patronus charm (which would give up his identity), he just pulls out the "Mr Black" chocolate frog card the Twins made, which sprouts hot chocolate when tapped with a wand. Hilarity Ensues.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: When Harry is at Paris, trying to enjoy the city's monuments and museums but having to deal with the long queues, he cannot help but think that, instead of "The City of Lights", Paris should be called "The City of Lines".
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum: The zeppelin floats because it's been filled with nothing. It's magic, don't question it.
- It makes sense in physics, as the displaced air weights more than the contents of the zeppelin, producing buoyancy. Making the zeppelin's bag stay in shape, despite being empty, does require the intervention of a literal wizard - nature abhors a vacuum, after all.
- Karma Houdini: Wormtail
- Not so much, because all of his failures in trying to attack Mr Black have a great toll in his sanity, and in the end he gives himself up to the Aurors.
- The strain on his psyche was made even worse by the many injuries he received each time, making him believe that Mr. Black was killing him one piece at a time.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Harry
- Known Only by Their Nickname: The majority of Harry's companions.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Subverted in Mr. Black's entourage. While the Professor, Henchgirl, and the Doctor all play major supporting roles, the Architect and the Mechanic have very small parts, and the Tailor and the Leather Worker are never even seen, while many characters just get a name and one scene and maybe a callback or omake later in the story.
- Mad Bomber: Of all people, Hermione gained this reputation in the sequel. She is adamant in denying it, but she shows a trend of solving problems with explosions, be they accidental, 'accidental', or otherwise.
- Mad Scientist: The Professor, a rare non-malicious version.
- Henchgirl is another example, although leaning more towards potions. She's just like him, and only became Henchgirl because she lost the coin toss.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: What everyone thinks is Mr. Black's default MO after his visit to Italy.
- Several accidental deaths get attributed to him whenever he is in the area, by the end he gets credit for events all around the world.
- Inverted in that he is also credited with the saving of lives with accidents and/or their consequences.
- Mistaken for Badass: There are so many accidental deaths around "Mr. Black" that pretty much the entire magical community is convinced that he's some sort of super-wizard. In point of fact, it's all just a string of coincidences.
- Of course, "Mr. Black" is actually quite Badass himself, particularly after his... upgrades. It's just overshadowed by the things that happen around him or are mistakenly attributed to him.
- Mundane Utility: who could have known that a tanning spell could be used to kill a vampire?
- The Cassandra family can see the future, but know they will not be believed due to their curse... so they set out to use those visions to get rich and help the world indirectly.
- Never Hurt an Innocent: ... or else the coroner will be unable to put you back together.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Mr. Black becomes a hybrid of vampire and werewolf, plus the fact that his blood is mixed with basilisk venom and phoenix tears, among other things.
- Not Enough to Bury: Death Eaters and other Blood Purists get hit with this. Hard. And often. In Germany, the coroner had trouble telling the pieces apart after Black gives his Russian battle magic a try, a Death Eater attack team was ran over by a train and damaged beyond recognition, the Lestranges had to be mopped up and picked clean from the insides of a vending machine, another Death Eater team was Eaten Alive by Australia's deadly wildlife, and let's not forget the bandits that were eaten by a nundu...
- Obfuscating Stupidity: what everyone thinks Mr. Black does.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Harry's innocent conversations with the local crime boss he meets in Rome.
- It keeps happening. All. The. Time. With criminals, with law enforcement, random people. Everyone.
- Only Sane Man:
- Mr. Black feels like this when compared to the Professor and Henchgirl (and to a lesser extent the Doctor and the Architect), not to mention all the strange situations he finds himself in.
- Even more so in the sequel, where Luna, Hermione, and Tonks each thinks that she's the only sane woman in their trio. None of them are.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Harry becomes part-werewolf at one point.
- Read the Freaking Manual: there are several instances of Harry (or someone else) getting instructions to make something work. When he returns to England, Harry is less than pleased to be told that the reason he got in so much trouble was because he didn't read the instruction manual for the SEP Field Generator.
- Rule of Cool: Why did Henchgirl enchant her zeppelin to have a rolling bank of clouds surrounding it at all times? Because it's cool.
- Running Gag:
- Death Eaters taking a Portkey to some place where Mr Black is going to be, only to suffer some great misfortune. The only person that always survives is Wormtail.
- Death Eaters later begin to balk at the idea of being on the teams sent to kill Mr Black, while those that are not sent start to take bets on what happens to those that go.
- Secret Keeper: The Weasley twins are the only canon characters aware of Mr. Black's true identity.
- Sincerity Mode: When asked anything other than his name, Harry responds with complete sincerity, but no-one takes what he says at face value - Mr. Black is obviously too skilled to be ignorant of his situation, and his sense of humor is a little twisted.
- Sure, Let's Go with That: a French Auror wizard that can transform into a poodle tells his female partner that the most dangerous people try to look like they are the harmless. The witch asks him if that is why he had her groom him and put a bow around his neck. He says yes this way.
- Teleporter Accident: Many, many examples, but the prize goes to how the Lestranges die: Apparating inside of a vending machine. As usual, it was one part genuine accident, one part pissing off the guy that made the Portkey, and zero parts fault of Mr. Black.
- The Cassandra: the shopkeeper at the beginning reveals to Harry that he and many in his very extended family inherited Cassandra's curse, which is what prompts them to do what they can to help the world.
- Took a Level in Badass: Mr. Black, by the end of the story.
- Urban Legend Love Life: One day of being friendly to Veela, and some bizzarre circumstances later, and Mr. Black becomes an In-Universe Memetic Sex God and symbol of fertility.
- Weirdness Censor: Mr. Black has a bracelet that makes it difficult for people to focus on the details of his person, explicitly called a SEP ("someone else's problem") Field.
- Wronski Feint: Harry takes part of a broom race that goes through a dragon sanctuary, and, just his luck, managed to get nearly every dragon hunting him. He tries to use the sunlight to blind them, but ultimately shakes them off and wins the race with a textbook perfect Wronski Feint against the ground, saving the other racers in the process.
- You Wouldn't Like Mr Black When He's Angry: Invoked and told almost word-by-word by Laetus Lovegood in his paper when he covered the 'Black Massacre' in Germany. While the magnitude of the event was actually out of Black's hands, the trigger for it was very well within the definition of the trope.