Harry walked into the ballroom, his robes uncomfortable tight as he struggled to find his breathing pattern again. This was the big day, the day when the most powerful hero would be chosen for an award. You would think, he thought savagely, seeing as I saved the world about, I dunno, seven times, and that I am a wizard, I would get the award. But no. A bloody skeleton gets nominated, when all he did was save Ireland. He nodded at Skullduggery Pleasant, who nodded back, and turned to speak with his side-kick, Valkyrie Cain.
‘Looking as stunning as ever, Miss Cain’, Harry said, as he kissed both her cheeks.
‘Oh, Harry Potter! How are the ol’ Dementors doing, eh?’ she said in a terrible mimicry of Harry’s British accent.
‘I dunno, Val, you tell me. Wasn’t it you who met them last? Nice enough lads aren’t they?’ he mimicked back.
‘Bloody pain in the arses, they were. Do you have any idea how hard they are to get rid of? Oh, but of course you do. You’re ‘Arry Potter.’ She smirked. ‘Sorry, mate, but I am on my way to meet real heroes.’ She pointed at Spiderman, who was flexing his muscles in the corner. ‘Laters!’
‘You know, she does like you,’ Skullduggery came back and put his arm around Harry’s drooping shoulders, ‘Has your autobiographies at home and everything.’
Harry cheered up a bit. ‘Really?’
Skullduggery sniggered. ‘‘Course she doesn’t. Why would she read a book about wizards with sticks?’
Harry smiled sarcastically. ‘Funny. Just hilarious.’
Skullduggery looked around. ‘Where are the other two? You know, the ginger and the genius?’
Harry shrugged. ‘Well, they’re not here, anyway…’
Skullduggery gave Harry a look through his eyeholes. ‘Funny. Just hilarious.’
Harry shrugged again, nodding goodbye and walked away, only to walk right into Captain America.
‘I live for this world. I die for it. That is the way it wor- oh, look here, if it isn’t famous Harry Potter!’
That earned laughs from his audience. But Harry wasn’t bothered.
‘Have you been reading my books, Steve? ‘Couse that was a direct quote from Snape.’
The captain looked flustered.
‘Of course not, Harry! That’s just ridiculous. Gettit? Ridikullus? ’. More laughs.
‘Whatever do you mean, Steve? Isn’t that a spell? How would you know about the spell without reading the book?’ Harry grinned. ‘Gotcha.’
The Captain looked a bit confused while his audience laughed at him. Harry mock-saluted him, making the captain go flame red.
As Harry picked up another glass of champagne from the waiter’s tray, he wondered what he had in common with these people, the other heroes in the ball room. Perhaps he would win the prize because he was unique. He grinned. After all, he was one of a kind.
Harry turned, Hollywood smile ready, only to feel his heart sink.
Doctor Who was one of a kind, too.
‘Harry Potter, it is an absolute honour, sir!’ The Doctor grinned at him, shaking his hands furiously. ‘Read the books, saw the battle, saved your skin, and watched the movies…’
Harry didn’t have a T.A.R.D.I.S, did he? Nor a hot, red-haired side-kick – not that Ginny wasn’t hot, but she just wasn’t Amy Pond – with a robot Roman soldier as a husband, nor 900 years behind him, and about a thousand more to go, nor two hearts. The bloody doctor was going to win this darn thing, wasn’t he?
‘…just think that this whole competitive thing is a bit of a waste of time, don’t you think? Anyhoo, so how is the whole wand waving thing going? Seems a bit of a bother to me, honestly. I mean, remembering the spells, knowing which one to use, at what time… Why would you need a wand when you‘ve got a sonic screwdriver? Now this baby here is a new model.’ The Doctor flipped out the screwdriver. 'This one works on wood, unlike the old ones, and has a magnetic radius of 5 miles. Can unlock anything from here to Timbuktu. Well, not Timbuktu, but you know what I mean. Also, it’s scanning thingy is much more advanced and I can control the T.A.R.D.I.S with this one from here. Also…’
Harry zoned out for a while, because he knew that the Doctor wouldn’t notice.
He saw Sam Witwicky, with his Transformer buddies, and Superman, who won it 15 years in a row until Iron Man a.k.a Tony Stark – who was chatting up Amy Pond – knocked him off two years ago. Last year (would you believe it) the weird Norwegian-God fellow – Thor? – won it. He was so happy he hit the presenter on the head with his ridiculous hammer.
This year, Harry was up against the skeleton, Eragon (who was actually a good friend of his), young Merlin and Susan Storm – from fantastic 4 – for the Best Magical Hero Award. Then Harry was also nominated for Best Hero Award (The one that Thor won). Everyone was nominated for that. Harry actually didn’t really care about the Magical one. All he wanted was to walk down the stage with Nickelback’s Hero in the background and hold up the trophy. Perhaps do some wand tricks that George Weasley had taught him…
‘… Don’t you agree?’ The Doctor looked at Harry enquiringly.
Harry started. ‘Yes, of course, I totally agree. If you would excuse me, Doctor…’
With a polite smile, Harry walked towards Eragon, who was talking to Hermione.
‘So I was thinking, you know, dinner for two, candle light supper, somewhere by the ocean…’ Eragon did the eyebrow thing which stopped half the female population in Alęgasia in there tracks.
But Hermione wasn’t swayed.
‘Sorry, Eragon.’ She lifted her left hand and pointed her ring finger. ‘Married.’
‘Was worth a shot anyway,’ he murmured as Hermione walked away. Then he noticed Harry.
‘Wizard Boy!’ He exclaimed, hugging Harry.
‘Dragon Boy!’ Harry exclaimed back, truly delighted to see his friend.
‘How are you, my friend? I haven’t seen you since, God knows when!’
‘God knows when indeed! What have you been up to?’
‘Nothing, my friend. Just raising the dragons, as Riders do. What about you?’
‘Oh, just being tired, I suppose.’ Harry shakes his head. ‘Being a hero is no mean feat.’
‘Been there, done that, still wearing the t-shirt.’
‘Still ‘wearing the t-shirt’ indeed.’
‘Did the Doctor give you an earful? You look like you had some.’ Eragon grinned.
Harry scowled. ‘Sonic screwdriver this, and sonic screwdriver that. You could swear that the darn thing was alive!’
Eragon frowned. ‘But isn’t your wand alive? You know ‘the wand chooses the wizard’ kind of thing?’
‘God, Eragon, shouldn’t you know me by now? That was purely for effect. Like a piece of wood can sense a wizard.’ Harry shrugged. ‘It sells better.’
Eragon looked abashed. ‘Dangerous world, Harry.’
Harry grinned evilly. ‘Dangerous world it is, my friend. Very dangerous indeed.’
‘Ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to the annual Heroscars awards. I hope you are comfortable and ready for action!’
Eragon leaned over toward Harry. ‘Someone tell me what Ellen DeGeneres is doing here.’
Harry whispered back, ‘I couldn’t tell you, mate. I couldn’t tell you.’
‘First of all, Nominees of the great Muscle Hero award…’
‘The Hulk!’ Scattered applause.
‘Captain America!’ More Clapping, slightly more enthusiastic this time.
‘The Thing!’ The audience roared.
‘Thor!’ The audience roared again.
‘And last but not least, Superman!’ Even Ellen DeGeneres clapped and screamed.
Favouritism, much, Harry thought.
And the winner, of this year’s, Muscle Hero award goes to…
‘Like you did not see that coming,’ Harry murmured. Eragon sniggered beside him.
‘Next, the Magical Award,’ Ellen said and Harry and Eragon both sat up a little straighter.
‘Harry Potter!’ The crowd went mental. Harry grinned.
‘Eragon!’ The crowd gave a cheer. Eragon grinned.
‘Merlin!’ There was a silence, and a polite applause. Merlin put his head in his hands.
‘Skulduggery Pleasant!’ the crowd roared again. Harry felt a little less pleased.
‘Aaaand… Susan Storm!’ Men wolf whistled, and ladies screamed.
‘The winner is…’ Silence. Harry could hear his own heart beating.
‘Nice One!’ Harry shouted. Eragon looked around in disbelief.
After a couple of more awards were awarded, Ellen DeGeneres stood up.
‘Now for the greatest Hero award…’
The place was silent. You could hear a pin drop.
‘The winner of the Greatest Hero of the year award…. Is…’