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Harry moved silently through the castle, there were very few people about. He recognized Aurors, who had remained loyal to the Order of the Phoenix, patrolling the hallways. They seemed to be checking every nook and cranny of the castle.

Harry pulled out the Marauders’ Map; he had little use for it now.

Before he could talk himself out of it he looked around at the nearby Aurors until he saw someone he really knew. Pulling aside the cloak he whispered, “Hestia!”

She spun towards him, wand drawn, until she recognized him. “Harry! Thank goodness you’re all right! No one has seen you since… well, no one has seen you!”

“I was sleeping Hestia, I have something here that might help you!” He handed her the map, and explained it. “If you could try and get it back to me when you’ve finished, it belonged to my dad.” Harry said.

Hestia was still marveling at it as Harry started to walk away, “Harry! Where did this come from?”

Harry smiled, “My dad made it with Remus and Sirius.”

“It’s remarkable, we could do with one of these for the ministry building. I wonder how they did it.” She continued to examine it closely as Harry moved on. Just as he reached the end of the corridor, she called softly, “They’re ok Harry, your aunt and uncle. They’re still in hiding.”

Harry nodded his thanks, not sure what to do with that bit of information, or how he felt about it. He added it to the list of things to deal with later and pulled the cloak on.

Harry twisted his way around the castle until he found the room of requirement, surprisingly, with a large double door standing open to what appeared to be a makeshift hospital wing. He saw Madame Pomfrey whizzing around to the various beds, with the help of what appeared to be healers from St. Mungos.

Backing against a wall to avoid being jostled, Harry tried to think where to go instead. He desperately wanted to be alone; he hadn’t been truly alone in more than a year. He watched the movement inside for a bit longer before moving on his way.

Harry’s wanderings found him inadvertently in the astronomy tower. Despite the damage to it, there was no one here. He leaned over the railing, and looked down at the grounds, watching the few people there moving about. He could see Hagrid attempting to repair his hut with the help, or what appeared to be hindrance, of Grawp.

He listened to the wind, and watched as owls flew to and from the owlrey, carrying news. Every time thoughts of the battle came into his mind, he pushed them away to be dealt with later.

He sat down and pulled out his wand, and started transfiguring the odd sticks and twigs he found into different objects. He found it was very helpful in keeping his mind off things, and began trying to remember harder and harder transfiguration.

Harry wasn’t sure how long he’d been at it when he heard a noise at the stairs. He whirled around, wand raised; tripping over the neat rows of teacups, thimbles, and glass figures he’d created. He hadn’t realized how many he’d made, and he cursed himself for having set the cloak to one side.

“Who’s there?” He shouted. “Show yourself!” He shot red sparks toward the stairs, hoping to shock whomever was there.

“Easy Harry, it’s just me,” came the voice of Mr. Weasley.

Harry let himself relax only slightly. “Whose was the watch you gave me for my birthday?”

“It belonged to my brother-in-law Fabian,” Mr. Weasley said quietly. He looked around at the mess of broken glass that Harry was standing in, wondering what he was doing. He saw Harry relax only a bit more, he still held his wand tightly, though he lowered it to his side. Mr. Weasley climbed the last few steps, and went to lean against the railing.

“How’d you find me up here?” Harry asked.

“Well, when people started waking up, Bill mentioned that you’d meant to have a look at the room of requirement; I figured I’d better get you back to the tower before Molly woke up. I knew you wouldn’t be in the room of requirement as it’s currently the expanded hospital wing, and I remembered coming up here myself a few times to get away, from things so I chanced it.”

Harry sat down and started absentmindedly repairing the broken teacups, and then changing them into glass animals. He didn’t meet Mr. Weasley’s eyes, and so, missed the concerned expression on Arthur's face as he watched Harry begin lining the figures up in straight rows.

Arthur could tell that Harry was not handling the stress of the previous days events well at all, and wanted to get him away from Hogwarts and the prying eyes of the reporters and officials who were beginning to swarm the gates. “Harry, we need to get you away from here. The news is spreading already and soon…” he waved his hand at the gates.

Harry got up from where he was and looked over the railing, seeing the throngs of people at the gate, he backed away quickly grabbing for his cloak. Looking up at Mr. Weasley he saw for the first time the lines of anguish on his face; touched that he considered Harry a part of the family he was desperately trying to hold together after the loss of Fred. “Where are we going?” he asked, his voice sounding more monotone than he expected.

“For now back to the tower, we’ve not figured out where its safe to go, but I’ve spoken with Minerva, and she’s agreed to use Gryffindor tower to house members of the Order temporarily.” Then he added, “Only Order members will have the new password.”

They heard a commotion, as the members of the press forced the gates open. “Come on Harry, lets get going.” Harry pulled the cloak over himself again and they ran back to Gryffindor tower.

“No, I’m sorry Arthur, it’s been destroyed too.” Kingsley said as they made their way down the list of possible places to go. The Burrow, Aunt Muriel’s, and Number 12 Grimmauld place were all torn apart by dark magic. There was nowhere safe to go.

Harry sat on the couch next to Ron and Hermione as they all tried to think of a solution. They needed to go somewhere, to get the family away from the scene of the battle.

Mrs. Weasley, Ginny, and George were still in bad shape, unable to deal with the loss of Fred. Bill, Percy, Ron, and Mr. Weasley were not much better, but were trying to get things going. Charlie had reluctantly left to help with the Gringotts Dragon.

Hermione was trying to comfort Ron, while all the while was desperately worried about her parents whereabouts, and Harry had continued transfiguring random objects without noticing he was doing it. The past few hours had accumulated a collection of random glass animals all over Gryffindor tower. He turned a sandwich crust into a unicorn, and Ron picked it up. “Mate, what’s with all the bloody animals?”

Harry glanced down at the half dozen animals in front of him and mumbled, “Takes my mind off things.”

Hermione spoke up, “there’s got to be something we’re not thinking of.”

Kingsley sighed, “We’ve been through every Weasley and Prewitt property in Britain; even Harry’s houses can’t be lived in. The cottage in Godricks Hollow for obvious reasons, and Number 12 was taken over by death eaters.”

Hermione looked over the list again; “we’re just not thinking about this properly, we’re looking at ministry records. Who knows if these are even accurate.” Then she jumped up, “That’s it, we’ve been looking in the wrong place! Harry, where’s Kreacher?”

But Kreacher appeared before Harry could answer, “Is Miss Hermione needing something?” He asked hopefully.

“Yes, Kreacher, I was wondering if you could explain something to Harry!” Kreacher looked doubtfully at Hermione.

“Kreacher will try,” he said, sounding unsure.

“Kreacher, Harry doesn’t completely understand his inheritance from Sirius, could you explain the property he now owns?” she asked.

Kreacher broke into a huge smile and bowed so low his nose touched the floor. “The Noble House of Black was far reaching, now the noble house of Potter, it includes the house in Grimmauld Place, a castle in Albania, a house in America, and a farm in Australia. All of these could be opened at a moments notice, if Master will let Kreacher!”

Kreacher looked absolutely ecstatic at the idea of opening houses, but his face fell slightly when he said, “the house in Grimmauld Place may not be ready for a long while. Bad wizards were there.”

Harry’s head popped up from his rows of trinkets on the coffee table, “Mr. Weasley, we could move into any of them… just pick one!”

The room had become slightly more cheerful, there were no smiles, but the feelings of despair seemed less overwhelming. Everyone began discussing the various options, pros and cons to each location.

“Albania, the Blacks would have a house there! That’s probably where Riddle went to hide.” Ron remarked. “Hermione! What’s wrong?”

Everyone glanced up to see tears running down Hermione’s cheeks, “My parents are in Australia.” She whispered. “I need to find them to remove the memory charm.”

Kingsley stood up, “That settles it.” He boomed. “Arthur, take your family to Australia. You can find Hermione’s parents, and your family can settle down away from prying eyes. When we need you at the ministry I’ll arrange for it.”

Mr. Weasley started to protest, “Kingsley, you need us nearby to help rebuild! The castle is a mess, the country even worse, people are hurt, and we can’t just leave…”

Kingsley cut him off, “Arthur… your family has been in the thick of the fighting since the First Wizarding War. If anyone deserves some time off it’s you, not to mention, I’m intrusting Harry and Hermione into your hands. No one is coming near this place to rebuild until we have homes for everyone to go to!”

Kingsley gathered up all the parchment he’d piled on the table, and headed toward the portrait hole. “I need to go talk to the press, and see about getting the Ministry running somewhere other than Hogwarts. Please send me a patronus if you need anything.”

They sat in silence for a few moments, and then Harry turned to Kreacher, “Is the house in Australia big enough for everyone?”

Kreacher nodded his head so eagerly his whole body shook, “Yes Master Harry, there is a big house with six bedrooms, also a little house which has two, and a river cottage with three. Shall Kreacher get them ready, he’ll be just a few moments?”

Harry nodded, “Please do Kreacher, but first tell us where it is, so we can arrange for travel.”

“Kreacher can take you there if it is best, Master Harry.” He looked at the group of Weasley’s and surrogate Weasley’s, “Or perhaps Master would like to Floo. The property is called Drovers Haven.” With a pop Kreacher was gone.

With something specific to do, everyone got moving. Hermione gathered up the contents of her beaded bag, and repacked them. Bill went to arrange the international Floo with McGonagall. Ron and Mr. Weasley went upstairs to check on Ginny, Mrs. Weasley and George. Which left Percy and Harry in the common room alone.

“Harry, I’ll completely understand if you don’t want me coming to your house.” Percy said quietly.

Harry looked over at Percy, who was thinned by the past year, his face looking drawn. “Percy, you were just mixed up; you got it right in the end. You must come with us, your family needs you!”

Percy looked up at Harry, “I suppose it’s time I put my family before the ministry. Maybe I can help George with Wheezes when the time comes.”

“I think that’s an excellent idea.” Came the voice of Mrs. Weasley down the stairs. She was splotchy from crying, but seemed to be doing much better.

Harry was just about to ask her about Ginny, when a searing pain shot through his chest. He collapsed onto the sofa, gasping and clutching his head. The pain ripped through his chest, and ended with his scar burning again. It seemed as though the pain potions Kreacher had given him had worn off. Harry’s eyes rolled back into his head, and he passed out.

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