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Ginny had spent most of the day with George, trying to get him to talk or eat or do something other than stare at the empty bed in his old dorm. Finally she couldn’t take it any more. When Ron and her dad came upstairs to check on George, she had to take a break. She washed the tears off her face and went to find Harry. She needed to find out what really happened. As she came down the stairs she saw Harry collapse backwards into the sofa gasping.

Ginny jumped the last few stairs and was by his side in an instant. “What happened?” she asked?

“I don’t know!” cried Percy, looking frantic, “We were talking about the house and he just collapsed!”

Harry’s breathing was shallow, Mrs. Weasley rushed over a put a hand on his forehead, “He’s burning up!”

Ginny muttered something and ran her wand over Harry’s body, the tip of it began to glow orange. “He there’s some kind of residual curse on his body, I doubt he’s seen a healer yet.”

Mrs. Weasley took a moment to look at her daughter in surprise, and then went into action, “Percy!” she snapped, “Go and fetch a healer, and quickly!”

“Madame Pomfrey Percy!” Ginny called after him. She turned back to Harry and began running her wand over his body again, when she reached his chest, the tip of her wand glowed red. She turned to her mum and said, “Go fetch Hermione, we’re probably going to need her help!”

Molly Weasley, too shocked by her daughters apparent knowledge of healing to do anything other than comply, dashed from the room.

Ginny quickly used her wand to slit open Harry’s shirt, when she pushed the material aside, she was shocked to find a huge red wound, the same shape as the scar on Harry’s forehead. She gasped; surely he couldn’t have been hit with the killing curse again. And yet she didn’t know any other curse that made that kind of mark. Muttering again she used one of the spells Madame Pomfrey had taught her last year to draw out the foreign magic from Harry’s body. She quickly conjured a bottled and dropped the magic into it; it looked just like a bottled memory, except it was bright green.

Ginny conjured a towel and used aguamenti to soak it with cool water, placing it behind Harry’s neck to try and bring his temperature down, she scanned his body again. Her wand glowed white, Harry’s body was rid of the magic, but he was still burning up. She began to clean and heal the open wound.

Just then the portrait hole burst open and Madame Pomfrey rushed in, with Percy and Bill hard on her heels. “Ginny, what did you find?”

“Foreign magic, I don’t know how long it’s been in his system. He has an open wound, not from a known curse. I’ve removed the magic and healed the wound, but his temperature is dangerously high and won’t drop.” Ginny indicated to the now healed pink scar on Harry’s chest.

“My god! It couldn’t be…” Madame Pomfrey had noticed the lightning bolt on Harry’s chest that matched his forehead. “Where is the foreign body?”

Ginny handed the bottled magic to Madame Pomfrey. “I think he’s done it again.” She whispered. “I’ve never pulled green from someone living.”

Madame Pomfrey and Ginny stared at the bottled magic, then looked back at Harry. “I think you just saved the boy’s life Ginevra. I expect his temperature will come down on it’s own. Keep a close eye on him, but I can’t do anything more than you’ve already done. We’ll just have to wait it out.”

“Ahem?” they turned around to see the entire Weasley family, even George were encircling them. “Would someone mind telling us what the bloody hell is going on here?” Ron shouted.

“Well Mr. Weasley,” Madame Pomfrey said, “it appears as though your friend was hit by the killing curse. He survived it, again, but it appears there was some residual dark magic in his system. This has been removed by your sister.” She held up the green vial. “Send for me if he worsens” She said to Ginny, and hurried back out of the room.

The whole family stared at the youngest member of their clan in awe. Finally Bill spoke up, “Midget, where did you learn all that?”

“Poppy taught several of us in secret last year, after the Carrow’s began stopping us going to the hospital wing. Once the ministry is back up, I just have to sit the examination to get my license.” She said simply, as she checked Harry’s temperature again. “There, it’s dropped now. He should wake up soon.”

As if on cue, Harry’s eyes flew open and he thrashed about looking for his wand. “Easy Harry,” Ginny crooned, “relax, it’s just us.”

Harry relaxed immediately upon hearing Ginny’s voice. “Ginny, what happened? How long was I out?” No one noticed Harry continuing to search for his wand, as he listened to Ginny’s explanation.

Handing Harry his wand, Ginny said sharply “Why didn’t you go see a healer?”

Harry looked a bit sheepish; Ginny could be as stern as Mrs. Weasley when she wanted to be. “Well, first I was so tired, I just came right up here. Then after that… it didn’t really come up.”

“Harry James Potter!” Mrs. Weasley, “Were you hit by avada kadevra again?”

Harry glanced at Ron and Hermione, was it really safe to tell the whole story now? If it was over, why shouldn’t the Weasley’s know everything that had happened? Especially since their son was dead because he couldn’t figure out the clues in time. Harry saw Hermione nod, and he said quietly, “We might want to bring Kingsley in to hear this too.”

A few minutes later, everyone had settled into a chair in the common room, Percy had fetched Kingsley, and even George was at least making eye contact again. Harry wondered what they would think of him when he was done with his story. “Well, who here knows what a Horocrux is?” He asked.

Nearly two hours later, Harry had finished the story, complete with interjections from Ron and Hermione, and answering the occasional question. He looked around the room at his surrogate family, amazed at the relief that came from finally being able to talk about the past year.

After a few moments silence, Mr. Weasley spoke up, “So, I’m afraid I don’t understand the last bit Harry. You said you were at Kings Cross with Dumbledore, does that mean you actually… died?”

Harry looked at the floor. “Yes.” He whispered.

“And, you chose to come back?” ask George. Everyone’s heads popped up to look at George; those were the first words he had spoken since the battle.

“Well…” Harry knew what George wanted to hear, and wished he could give him the answer he wanted, “…it was really only because of Riddle that I had the choice. If I didn’t have a bit of his soul inside mine, I never would have had the option.”

“Harry?” George asked, “Was… was it nice there?”

Harry was touched. In his moment of deepest sorrow, George wanted to know if Fred was ok, wherever he was. “Yes, it was very nice. Light, and warm; there was no pain, or sorrow. If it wasn’t for Gi… for things I needed to take care of, I would have quite liked to stay.”

Only Ginny and Molly noticed Harry’s feux pas. Ginny’s heart skipped a beat when she heard it. He still wanted her! He came back because of her! Molly looked at her surrogate son in a new light; perhaps he would be more than an honorary member of the family before long!

“Thank you Harry.” Arthur said, “I think we all needed to hear that.”

Kingsley spoke up, “Harry, Ron, Hermione; the Wizarding World owes you more than we could ever possibly repay. You will all be appropriately recognized in time; however, I think it would be prudent for you to leave out certain aspects of the story when you tell it in the future. Specifically, the Hallows and the Horcruxes. We don’t need another Tom Riddle or any Dark Lord imitations to arise from your story.”

“I was hoping you’d say that Minister.” Harry said with a smile.

“Now, now, none of that Minister nonsense. I’m the interim-minister, and I’m only taking the position until we can hold elections to find a suitable replacement!” Kingsley laughed.

“Which is exactly why I trust you.” Harry said. “You didn’t ask for the job.”

The Weasley’s, Harry, and Hermione were all gathered in the entrance hall of Hogwarts, waiting for the signal from Mr. Weasley to run outside and grab the portkey. The wanted to spend as little time as possible outside, as the members of the press were still hanging about hoping for an interview. “Alright, just a few more minutes now. I want Harry, Ron, and Hermione at the center of the group, and for goodness sake, keep your heads down. Hopefully they’ll not notice you until it’s too late. Do whatever is necessary to keep stowaways off the portkey. I want wands in hand, everyone! On three!”

Mr. Weasley counted to three, and the Weasley’s moved like an Auror squadron, low and quick across the grounds. Wands raised, they shielded the Golden Trio from view. As soon as the reached the portkey, an old hula hoop, they fanned out around it and grabbed hold. Just as they felt the familiar tugging sensation, there was a shout that sounded suspiciously like the voice of Rita Skeeter, “There’s Potter! He’s leaving!” But it was too late; Harry and his family were gone.

The portkey spun to a stop in front of what appeared to be a large barn. Everyone straightened up and dusted themselves off and had a look around. Harry was quite surprised, the house in Grimmauld place was large, but it appeared he owned hectares and hectares of land on this ranch. It also looked quite well maintained, though empty. Seeing across the dirt drive, what appeared to be the large house Kreacher had mentioned. Harry headed towards the house and the Weasley’s followed.

Harry stepped onto a wraparound porch on the large white house, which sported a metal roof. They noticed the roof had gutters that appeared to collect runoff from any rain in a large tank behind the house. As soon as their feet hit the porch the front door sprang open revealing Kreacher, and four more house elves. Everyone’s eyes bugged out, four more house elves! Most wealthy families owned just one, and now it appeared Harry had five!

“May Kreacher introduce Master’s Australian elves, Boof and Ditty, and their children Crag and Squish*.” Kreacher said with a bow, that was quickly followed by the other elves.

“Hello,” said Harry, feeling a bit uncomfortable, “have you lot always been on this ranch?”

“Crag and Squish has Master, they was born here. But Master Black won Ditty and me in a bet nearly 50 years ago. It was a game of Two Up it was.” Boof explained.

Not knowing what Two Up was, and feeling Hermione blistering behind him at the thought of House Elves being gambled, Harry said, “well, can you show us around the house?”

Kreacher and Boof showed them all around the big house, which Boof called the home farmhouse. It did in fact have six bedrooms, as well as a large wizarding kitchen, which was open to the spacious living area. Nearly the whole of the downstairs was in fact one large room, with the exception of a loo and an office.

Next they went and looked at the small house, which Boof explained was meant as a farm manager’s house. It had two large bedrooms upstairs, and a kitchen and living area downstairs, nearly a duplicate of the big house. It was quickly decided that this would be ideal for Bill and Fleur to live in until they were ready to return to Shell Cottage.

After they finished with the manager’s house, they continued to follow Boof from building to building as he explained what they were. They passed a barn, stables, a machine shed, which appeared to house tractors, a chicken shed, dog runs, outdoor loos, shearer’s quarters, shearing shed, cattle yards, and a large pond in one of the fields.

“So, where exactly are we?” Mr. Weasley asked.

“Master’s house is in Puckapunyal, a small town. The nearest city is Melbourne. Puckapunyal is a muggle town, so if you need wizarding things the nearest market is in the city.” Kreacher explained.

They were about to return to the big house, when Harry remembered something, “Kreacher, you said something about a river cottage?”
“Yes master, but it is not a wizarding house. This property was bought from a muggle, and Blacks never had the third house converted.” Kreacher said simply.

“Is it still in good order?” Harry asked.

Boof spoke up, “the house was sealed upon purchase. Everything inside should be as it was the day it was bought.”

“Let’s go see it!” Harry said excitedly. Everyone was curious why Harry was suddenly so excited. He’d seemed fairly withdrawn through most of the tour, asking occasional questions but not really responding to the answers.

Kreacher looked at Boof, who motioned for them to follow and lead them down rock-lined path to the last house. It was a pretty little river cottage, which looked as though it were designed as a vacation home.

Like the others, it was white with a metal roof and wraparound porch. But unlike the others, the back of that porch stood out over the river like a dock. Inside was indeed muggle, with electrical appliances and lights. Its three bedrooms had views of the river, while the downstairs followed the same layout as the other two houses, with an open kitchen.

“It’ll need a bit of updating, but it’s perfect!” Harry cried.

Everyone stared at Harry. “Perfect for what?” Ginny asked.

“Well for Hermione’s parents of course!” Harry exclaimed. “When we find them I’d imagine they’ll need some time to adjust as well, and I wanted them to stay here too; but a wizarding house might be a bit more than they can handle on top of everything.”

Hermione burst into tears and ran to hug Harry. “I was afraid I would have to go back home alone with them after I fixed their memories!”

“We would never have let you go back alone!” Ron said, coming to hug Hermione too.

Arthur looked around the room and noticed everyone had tears on their cheeks, but they seemed to be tears of relief. His family was finally relaxing a little bit in the knowledge that they had the time and sanctuary to recover away from the prying eyes of the media and the ministry. He knew they had a long road still, but that day that had all healed a tiny bit.

Later that day, everyone had had a nap and the whole Weasley clan was gathered around the large scrubbed kitchen table enjoying restoring cups of Kreacher’s tea. In addition, Ditty had prepared lovely sandwiches, scones and biscuits.

Rooms had been sorted out, with Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Harry, Ron, Percy, George getting their own rooms, and Hermione and Ginny sharing until Hermione could move into the river cottage with her parents. It was decided that Charlie would take the extra room in the mangers cottage with Bill and Fleur when he was able to stay.

“We’ll need to sort out someone to come look over the river cottage and make sure it’s in good order.” Harry said to Mr. Weasley. “I know it was sealed up, but I want to make sure everything is in perfect order.”

Before Mr. Weasley could respond, there was a long, loud yell of “Cooooeeeeeeeee!” from outside. Everyone scrambled for their wands, dropped to the floor and found good positions to see out. They saw a couple walking up the road, in muggle clothes. Following Mr. Weasley’s lead, Harry, Ron, and Bill hid their wands in their pockets and went outside.

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