Harry had just come back from his morning tea break when Robert Clapp, Head of Telesales at MagiCare Insurance, came into the office and walked briskly over to Harry's desk.
"Harry," said Mr Clapp, "Could I see you in my office, please?"
When they entered the office, Harry noticed that the Deputy Marketing Director, Mr White, was also there. He must be up for promotion, Harry thought smugly. Admittedly he'd only been at MagiCare for three weeks, but then he was Harry Potter.
"Ah, Harry," said Mr White. "Please take a seat."
Mr Clapp leant forward, steepling his fingers in front of him. "Obviously we were initially very excited that the Harry Potter was interested in working at MagiCare." He looked to White, who continued. "Unfortunately, however, since you started here there have been some problems."
"The incident with the head of our Japanese division-"
"I thought he was reaching for his wand," muttered Harry.
"There was no need to Stun him," said Clapp.
"Luckily Oliver Wood was able to smooth that over," added White, "but you must understand, Harry, that it did not reflect well on the company."
"Not at all well," added Clapp.
"Your personal presentation has been brought up several times, has it not?" White leant forward and frowned. "And yet, you persist in appearing at the office looking like you just fell out of a tree."
"Even now," said Clapp, "there is a crack in your glasses, and something that looks like egg on your tie. We expect MagiCare employees to take pride in their appearance, Harry."
"There is also the matter of the unexplained absences - last week, for example, you were away for three days and on your return provided no explanation other than that you, ah-" White checked his notes - "'believed the Dark Lord was active.' While your commitment to matters of magical safety is admirable, Harry, when you accepted this role you assured us that it would not impact on your performance at work."
"He was active!" said Harry in outrage.
"Nonetheless," said White, "the correct procedure would have been to fill out a leave application form."
"However," said Clapp, "these little matters would perhaps be excusable were it not for one glaring thing - you are consistently failing to reach even the softest of revenue targets."
"It has been suggested to you," said White, "that telling people the Dark Lord has returned and will be coming for them is not the most effective way of selling life insurance, but we've noticed that you haven't changed your selling style, so we really feel you've left us no choice."
White removed his wand (oak, 12 inches, unicorn hair) and aimed it across the desk. "Unfortunately, Harry, we are going to have to let you go. Unemployicus Totalus!" Harry's swipe card whipped out of his pants pocket and landed on the desk.
Hot tears of rage spilled from Harry's eyes, which were so like his mother's. Any second now, thought Harry, Dumbledore will arrive and tell them this is all wrong.
"Any second now," Harry shouted, "Dumbledore will arrive and tell you this is all wrong!"
"Harry," Clapp said gently, "Dumbledore died years ago. We understand this is difficult. Take as long as you need."
Harry squeezed his eyes closed, safe in the knowledge that soon he would pass out and wake up somewhere nice where everything would be explained to him because, after all, he was Harry Potter. After a couple of awkward minutes, however, Harry realised in horror that he was not going to black out.
"You can pick up your final paycheck on the way out," said Clapp, kindly.
Two Weeks Later
Harry stumbled on the kerb, empty bourbon bottle shattering on the pavement, and lurched into a dimly lit doorway. "Harry Potter," he slurred, "I am Harry Potter!" He sat down heavily and burped. It was only when a tall woman in black walked up to him that he realised he had collapsed in the red light district of Diagon Alley. She bent over him and asked, in an all-too-familiar accent, "Harry Potter?" Harry, cheeks burning with shame, stuttered, "Miss McGonagall - this - this isn't what it looks like, I-"
"Don't worry, Harry," cooed Minerva McGonagall as she took her wallet out of her pocket, "I've always wanted to see how you wave your wand."