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Fanfic / Make a Wish

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I'm just a guy on vacation

Make 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 (in archived form) or the community Black Ink.

Make A Wish provides examples of:

  • Accidental Celebrity: Harry Potter just wanted a vacation, and because he is famous he decides to take the alias "Mr. Black" to go incognito. One summer later, "Mr. Black" is an In-Universe Memetic Badass with a Mysterious Past who makes Death Eaters drop dead left and right via equally mysterious means, and is always aware of everything. Harry is completely oblivious to his Accidental Hero status, as everything was the result of Contrived Coincidence.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Many of Mr. Black's accomplishments are completely unknown to him.
  • The Alcoholic: There's many references to Harry getting drunk multiple times across the story.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: A common theory among both dark wizards and law enforcement is that Mr. Black was retired and would have happily kept out of the world's affairs if Voldemort hadn't kept trying to kill him.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe with Mr Black. Everyone thinks that Mr Black is a badass Older Than Dirt wizard who has a very twisted sense of humour and thus likes to play "pranks" on the Law Enforcement officers he meets, such as dropping Death Eaters into a cell while he is being given a tour, and also uses Obfuscating Stupidity to deal with LEOs who are shadowing him. Actually, Mr Black (Harry) is just as surprised as them whenever Death Eaters appear next to him in increasingly weird situations and does not even know people are tailing him at all.
  • Anvil on Head: The sole purpose of the "Acme" spell. The advanced version offers a ten-ton weight and a grand piano as alternatives. The author must have seen at least one Road Runner vs Wile E. Coyote cartoon because the name and sole purpose of the spell comes right from there (more specifically Wile E.'s constant failed attempts at catching the Road Runner).
  • The Atoner: What people think Mr. Black is, after several comments he makes are overheard by certain people and misconstrued to mean something else.
  • 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.
  • Been There, Shaped History: As the legend of Mr. Black grows, several misconstrued commentaries, pure luck and a little manipulation by the Cassandra family make it look like he may have been involved in all sort of historical events.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: A blood purist newspaper goes out of business due to "rising costs of doing business and the fact that the obituary section is larger than the last three issues combined."
  • 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.
    • A multi-story brick joke features in the Naruto crossover sequel. In Make A Wish, Mr. Black is irritated to find out many of his problems are because he didn't read a certain manual. In the Naruto Crossover The Contract, Naruto notes that whenever he gets any new items from Black Ink, they come with a manual that he is ordered to read.
  • 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.
  • The Cassandra: The shopkeeper at the beginning reveals to Harry when he returns from his vacation 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.
  • Catchphrase: 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 during his stop in Australia, 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.
  • Close to Home: Mr. Black hates Death Eaters and Blood Purists in general, as a result of dealing with them back in England. Every time he encounters a group of them, things go very bad for the opposing side.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Harry and eventually the remaining members of the DA. Before setting them to spar with each other, Harry reminds them of the number one rule: "It's only unfair if the other guy does it."
  • Coming of Age Story: This is a Harry Potter fic, so that's to be expected.
  • 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.
  • 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 who 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.
    • Perhaps the biggest coincidence happens during the stop in Egypt: A group of Ministry officials sent after him by Fudge get caught in a rock slide. Amongst the group are Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Dolores Umbridge. Tonks and Kingsley, who Harry likes, manage to survive with relatively minor injuries; Umbridge, who Harry hates, dies from her far more serious ones.
  • Cool Bike: Thanks to Harry's insane luck at gambling, he wins one of these in America. The Professor asks if he can modify it, and Harry agrees - his only specific request is to have it fly, but otherwise he gives the Professor free reign to add anything he wants besides that. The Professor and Henchgirl get some like-minded friends, and even make a contest out of who can put the most features in. After all of that, it can 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 projects the image of the pooka itself.
  • Could Say It, But...: Harry's travel book talks about some spells he can use to hide himself and about the equivalent to the Unforgivables in other countries in this way.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Several. After the Lestranges' gruesome end, Mr. Black earns a reputation of getting 'creative' with people who 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 worries 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.
  • The Faceless: The most recognizable thing about Mr. Black's face is that it's impossible to describe to someone else. In photographs, his face is always blurred out.
  • Failsafe Failure: Justified and invoked. The wizard who makes the Portkeys that the Death Eaters use deliberately leaves 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.
  • 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 Soft: 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 in 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 the Netherlands, Harry spends the day visiting museums and admiring art, and at the 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 (aided by him leaving them a photo of a patch of grass where an invisible agent just so happened to be standing when it was taken), and unwittingly start the belief that Mr. Black is an old professional who 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 French Aurors are about to break 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.
  • I Read It for the Articles: Dumbledore says this when he accidentally reveals he buys Playwizard magazine. Then Tonks reveals she also buys it to practice forms and for the articles, leaving Dumbledore dumbfounded when she mentions one of them.
  • 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 spouts hot chocolate when tapped with a wand. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: When Harry is in 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".
  • Ironic Echo: Harry spends most of the story introducing himself as "Just a man on vacation." At the end when he chooses to become Mr. Black, he introduces himself as "A man in need of a vacation."
  • 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.
  • Kent Brockman News: The Prophet's original bias. Later, to start competing with The Quibbler, they shift to outright Blatant Lies.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Harry. Not that he notices his impact in the world (at least, not until he returns from his vacation.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: The majority of Harry's companions.
  • Last-Name Basis: Mr. Black of course. One of the Cassandra family even changes his passport so his name is Mr.
  • Mad Bomber: Of all people, Hermione gains 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.
  • Magitek: The Professor and Henchgirl work in this trade. One example is when they begin to make and sell lighters that can be used as portable Floo connections.
  • 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.
  • Memetic Badass: In the span of one summer, Mr Black becomes this In-Universe.
  • 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? Lavender Brown uses this as inspiration to win a duel against Seamus with a similarly-mundane spell for breast expansion.
    • 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 has trouble telling the pieces apart after Black gives his Russian battle magic a try, a Death Eater attack team is ran over by a train and damaged beyond recognition, the Lestranges have to be mopped up and picked clean from the insides of a vending machine, another Death Eater team is Eaten Alive by Australia's deadly wildlife, and let's not forget the bandits who are eaten by a nundu...
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: What everyone thinks Mr. Black does.
  • Oh, Crap!: Several, usually when someone realizes Mr. Black is nearby.
    Undercover Agent: And what's your name?
    Mr. Black: Black.
    Undercover Agent: (Suddenly very nervous) And might I ask what your first name is?
    Mr. Black: Mr.
    Undercover Agent: I see. Excuse me, but I'm afraid I must be going.
  • 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 think 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.
  • Papa Wolf: When you murder an innocent child, Mr. Black will have no restraint in dealing with you.
  • Poisonous Person: Harry, thanks to the events of the Chamber of Secrets, is perfectly healthy even though his blood still has Basilisk venom running through it. The Doctor also discovers that, if poisoned, he will just absorb the poison and become immune to it. When he is in Australia, a bunch of spiders bite him and die almost immediately because of the poison.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Plenty of criminals, such as the Roman Mafia, are perfectly willing to tone down their most horrible acts... if it keeps Mr. Black from noticing them.
  • 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 who 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 who are not sent start to take bets on what happens to those who go. One earns ten thousand Galleons for correctly guessing the fate of the Australian team (Wormtail survived but was badly bitten in the buttocks, which the Death Eater in charge asks about as the next part of the bet).
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Eventually, there's a Scare 'Em Straight program started for budding Dark wizards that amounts to "Don't, or Mr. Black will find you."
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: A couple times, someone realizes they're dealing with the Mr. Black and promptly leaves.
  • Secret-Keeper: The Weasley twins are the only canon characters aware of Mr. Black's true identity.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The German criminal underground want to make a deal with Mr. Black similar to the one he made with the Mafia, but are scared after he brutally massacres a bunch of blood purists, and the local Aurors think Mr. Black is going to go on a rampage... so the criminal underground proceeds to cause the rampage themselves.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Side Bet: The Death Eaters create a pool on how the next group sent with Wormtail are going to die. What happens to Wormtail himself is also bet on, according to the Death Eater in charge of said pool asking about that after one wins ten thousand Galleons for correctly guessing the fate of the Australian team.
  • 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 who can transform into a poodle tells his female partner that the most dangerous people try to look like they are 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's one part genuine accident, one part pissing off the guy who made the Portkey, and zero parts fault of Mr. Black.
  • 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 a 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.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Harry awakens several times from a long night-drinking binge without knowing what the hell happened to him the previous night.
  • Wronski Feint: Harry takes part in a broom race that goes through a dragon sanctuary, and, just his luck, manages 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 Me When I'm Angry!: Invoked in regards to the enigmatic Mr. Black, and told almost word-by-word by Laetus Lovegood in his paper when he covers the "Black Massacre" in Germany. While the magnitude of the event was actually out of Black's hands, the trigger (it involved Death Eaters) for it was very well within the definition of the trope.