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“Hello the house!” Called the women, as they came outside.

“Hello there,” said Mr. Weasley, “who might you be?”

“We’re your neighbors down the other side of the north paddock; I’m Carl Baralga and this is my wife Ellie. We saw the smoke from the chimney and thought we’d come see if someone was moving into Drover’s Haven!” said the man. “You lot buy the place? You seem a bit more cheerful than the regular inhabitants. Though, they were never here very often.”

“I inherited the property.” Harry explained, his hand still on his wand in his pocket. “It belonged to my godfather.”

“Oh, you must be Hogwarts people then!” Said Ellie.

What happened next was a blur, Bill and Ron had their wands out, and each trained on a visitor. Mr. Weasley and Harry had their wands out as well, covering Bill and Ron.

“Alright, hands were we can see them!” Bill said, menacingly. “Do you have wands?”

The couple looked shocked, pulled their wands out of their pockets and set them on the ground. Then a look of understanding crossed Ellie’s face. “You just got out, didn’t you? We heard about the battle.” She said quietly.

Mr. Weasley spoke up, “yes, we have. If you’ll excuse our rudeness, we need to learn a little bit more about you. My family has been fighting for a long time, and we defend first, and ask questions later.”

“It’s fine, we should have thought, but we weren’t sure if you were muggles or wizards.” Ellie said quietly. “We don’t mean any harm, we were just excited to have some Wizards in the area. We’ve been the only ones for a long time.”

Carl nodded “What will make you more comfortable with us?”

Harry used what little Legilimens skills he had to try and gauge Carl and Ellie’s intent. From what he could tell, they truly meant no harm. But he still wasn’t very good at it, and wanted to ask them some questions anyway. “Come inside, let us ask you some questions. I think we’d all feel better if we knew a little more about you.”

The whole group marched inside, and headed for the big kitchen table and the remains of the unfinished tea. “Ditty, would you mind bringing cups for our guests?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

Everyone sat down and looked at Harry, who was at the head of the table. Carl and Ellie were surprised that the whole group seemed to be taking its queues from this boy. He’d said the property was his, but they were truly taking his lead.

Harry waited until Ellie and Carl had taken a sip of tea, and then asked them point blank, “Whose side are you on?”.

Ellie smiled, and set down her cup. “Well, it wasn’t really like that here. The Australian ministry supported you, but most of the Australian Wizarding Community was too detached from the situation to really have much of an opinion. We have relations in England, so we were a bit more involved than most Australians. We helped with the Muggleborn relocation project.”

Harry and Hermione, who hadn’t been able to listen to Potterwatch regularly, didn’t understand what Ellie was talking about, however, the Weasleys visibly relaxed.

“Oh, were you a part of the Australian Placement Program?” Bill queried.

“Not exactly, we were a part of the disapperation team.” Carl explained. “We were responsible for side-apperating the target to the secure location.”

There were nods of understanding from most at the table, and even a low whistle from Bill, but Harry and Hermione looked perplexed. “What’s the Muggleborn Relocation Project?” Hermione asked?

Carl and Ellie looked at her strangely, but Mr. Weasley smoothly covered for her: ”That was going on while you lot were in hiding. It was a group of Wizards from other countries who helped get the Muggleborns out of the country to safe houses.”

“It was organized via Potterwatch.” George said, with a pointed look at Harry.

Fleur, understanding that Harry might not be ready to let the Australians know who he was, turned the conversation back to Ellie, “You said you ‘ave relatives een England?”

“Yes, actually, my extended family is from London.” Ellie explained. “Quite a large family, actually you might know them, my grandmothers maiden name was Prewitt.”

There was a collective gasp from the table, and Molly asked, “Was her name Drizella?”

“Yes, did you know her?” Ellie smiled?

“Only by reputation, she had already moved to Australia before I was born, but she was my Cousin.” Molly said with a grin. “So I suppose that makes us cousins, though a bit further apart.”

“Wow, who would have thought? Here we showed up thinking you were muggles and now it turns out you’re family!” Ellie exclaimed. “Well you must tell us all about yourselves, who are you all, how did you end up here?

Knowing now that the Baralga’s were family, albeit distant relations, everyone was much more relaxed, although not quite ready to divulge their full story. Harry jumped in, “Well, like I said, I inherited the property from my Godfather. After we got through the battle, we just wanted somewhere to go that was safe and quiet. This seemed like it would be just the trick. I expect my Godfather, Sirius Black, didn’t even know about this place.”

Carl chimed in, “So you’re part of the Black family then?”

Harry nodded, “Harry Black.” He said, taking Sirius’ surname when he introduced himself. It seemed a good option here. The locals, it seemed, would know who had owned the farm; taking the Black family name meant fewer questions asked.

“That makes sense.” Carl said. “Your hair. Around here we’re a bit more descriptive when it comes to our family names; at least, those of us with Aboriginal blood. Baralga means native companion, roughly translated. “

“Well that’s fitting!” Ginny laughed. She had gotten up and retrieved a potion out of her bag and set it down in front of Harry. In fact, she had been so diligent with his Potions that Harry wasn’t even sure what he was taking, and when. He just knew it seemed to be working, and for the most part, he wasn’t in pain.

“Yeah, that makes sense.” Ron said. “Well since Harry here lost his family pretty young, we sorta adopted him. The rest of us are Weasley’s.” He said, going round the room and giving everyone’s first names, including Hermione because it was simpler. He was betting that since there were so many Weasley’s Carl and Ellie wouldn’t figure out exactly which Weasley’s they were. And he was right.

“Goodness, it’ll take me a bit to get all the names straight!” Ellie said. “But we’ve taken up a fair bit of your time, and I expect you all could do with a nap if you’ve just arrived!”

“That we could!” Said Arthur. “Thanks for indulging our inquisition. You never can be too careful.”

“Not at all!” Carl said, “And please, if you need anything, stop by. We’re the property on your northern boundary. Just keep walking the fence line and you’ll run right up to the home paddock. After that we’ll show you where the apparition point is if you like. “

They finished up their tea, said their goodbyes, headed out the front door and started across the yard.

Bill turned to Harry and started to ask, “where’s your cloa…” But Harry already had his cloak out of his pocket and halfway over his head. “Way ahead of you Bill, I’ll be right back.” And he slid out the back door without a sound.

“Sometimes I wonder if that kid learned more from Snape about Occlumency and Legilimens than we think he did.” Bill muttered. “Or is he really just one step ahead of everyone else all the time?”

“Both.” Said Ron and Hermione in unison.

“Sometimes, when we were on the run, his thought patterns were downright terrifying.” Hermione admitted. “We would be picking a place to camp, and be looking for a clearing, and Harry would be looking for ways people could sneak up on that clearing. He’d see things Ron and I never would have even considered.”

“Yes, I think the only time I’ve ever seen him without his guard up was for a few moments during the World Cup.” Mr. Weasley admitted. “I thought, when he first started spending time with us, that he would relax eventually. But it’s quite the opposite, the closer he’s gotten to us the more I’ve seen him look over his shoulder.”

“Well, we’re his family.” Ginny whispered, “and he’s lost just about anyone he’s ever loved. Dumbledore was right, it’s a wonder he can love at all.”

Meanwhile, Harry had snuck up to the Baralga’s and fallen into footstep a few paces behind them so he could hear their conversation.

“…poor people. It sounds as though they actually fought in the battle.” Ellie was saying. “No wonder they’re a bit jumpy. I’d be downright terrified to talk to anyone!”

“Yes, I think we were quite lucky they let us talk at all. I’m not sure as I would have.” Carl admitted.

“But imagine Carl! Another wizarding family, right here in Puckapunyal! And distant relations too! I do hope they’re here to stay.”

Carl laughed at Ellie’s comment, “yes, I imagine you can’t wait to have them all over and feed everyone. I think they’ll need a bit of time yet to adjust though.”

“I know, but.” Ellie said with a smile. “It’ll be nice to have people over for a change. Spending time with Muggles is hard work, especially when you can’t have them back to your home.”

They continued walking in silence for a few moments before diverting the conversation to other things. After a bit more, Harry was satisfied and turned back to Drover’s Haven.

“Is he gone?” Ellie said when she saw Carl turn back toward where Harry had been a few moments ago. She hadn’t been able to tell if he was even there, but her aboriginal husband seemed to have a different kind of magic than most.

“Yeah, he’s gone. Poor kid. I hope we put him at ease.” Carl said, and continued walking.

“That was really him wasn’t it?” She asked.

“Yeah, it was. I know he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s here, but I think I should let the Ngalaiya know. That way they can set up some protection, quell any rumors in the Ministry about who might be moving into Haven.”

“You’re probably right, but lets keep an eye on them for a bit ourselves first. For all you know, the Order of the Phoenix has already told them all about it.” Ellie suggested, and turned to apparate the rest of the way home.

After returning to kitchen and letting everyone know that Carl and Ellie seemed to be trustworthy, Harry made his way up to his room. It was the first time he really had a chance to take a good look around it, they had only stopped in briefly while touring the house, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had insisted he take the Master bedroom as it was his house. Harry had only agreed when he saw that most of the rooms were the same size anyway.

His room was not overly large, and was brightly lit, with whitewashed walls. There was a large bed, draped in mosquito netting, which looked as though it was made from Eucalyptus. This was covered in a simple blue quilt. Near the window was a large bookcase, overflowing with books; and just under the window, a large brown overstuffed chair. Harry opened a door, confirming that it connected to a loo, and another which was a built-in wardrobe.

He was quite surprised by the property in general, and wondered which member of the Black family had actually purchased it, as it was not decorated in the normal dark Black family taste at all. He made a mental note to ask Andromeda about it the next time he saw her. He had invited her and Teddy to come with them, of course, but Mrs. Tonks preferred to stay in her small home, promising to visit often. In fact, she was the only one who would have direct Floo access to Drovers Haven.

Satisfied with his room, but not feeling particularly like sleeping, Harry moved to the large chair by the window. He glanced at the bookcase, noticing happily that most of the books seemed to be novels or books about transfiguration and charms. He selected a book about Home Transfiguration and set about adding some personal touches to the room.

Before Harry knew it, several hours had passed. He had found a spell for transfiguring picture frames, and had set about changing a stack of handkerchiefs he found in the wardrobe. Soon he had taken his shrunken photo album that Hagrid had made for him out of his mokeskin pouch, copied all his favorite photos, and put them up on the walls and on tabletops.

He had just finished changing his quilt to a darker blue striped look, when there was a knock at the door. “Come in”, he called distractedly as he changed the chair to match.

“Wow, Harry, this looks amazing!” Said the voice of Ginny behind him.

Harry stiffened at the sound of her voice, and quickly spun around. “Oh, hi Ginny. I was just putting up pictures, and I found this transfiguration book.” He stammered, his cheeks turning red. He was nervous, realizing that this was the first time he and Ginny had been alone in a room since before Bill and Fleur’s wedding.

“I just came to check up on you. It’s probably about time for some more potion too.” She motioned to the chair, “You haven’t had a proper checkup either. Shirt off and lets have a look.”

Harry blushed again, before following her instructions. Ginny switched into Healer mode, and did a thorough checkup of Harry; inspecting all his scars and bruises, checking his eyes and ears, scanning his lungs and heart for any damage from the killing curse. “What hurts?” She asked, as she inspected his newly closed scar on his chest.

Harry had been so distracted by all the transfiguration that he hadn’t noticed the pain in his head and chest return. He didn’t want to seem weak in front of Ginny though, so he just shrugged. That was a mistake, and the motion worsened the pain in his chest and he gasped.

“Harry, unless you want to go see a healer at the hospital you have to tell me what is going on!” She said, putting both hands on her hips and reminding him of her mother. “I can’t help you if I don’t know where to start. Now you’re a right mess, you’ve got cracked bones in several places that I didn’t even notice when I was helping you at Hogwarts. You’re malnourished, dehydrated, and suffering from who knows what kind of spell damage! Now. Tell. Me. What. Hurts.”

“My, my head.” Harry muttered sheepishly. “And my chest and my right leg. But my chest the most.”

“Here.” She said, passing him a potion. “For the pain.”

Harry drank the potion obediently as she inspected his leg.

“No wonder it hurts” she said, “it’s fractured.” She straightened his leg out and muttered “ferula” creating a splint. After that she passed her wand once more over his new scar, and then inspected his forehead.

“Well,” she said when she was done, “You’ll be needing some skelegrow for those fractures. How you managed to walk around with a broken leg is beyond me. Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I dunno. Other things seemed more important.” He said, avoiding Ginny’s gaze.

“Well you are to tell me from now on.” She said. “As for your chest, that will fade with time, it’s healing well. I’m not sure why your scar is hurting, by all rights is shouldn’t be, but it’s always been a bit off right?

“Well, yes, but that’s because it was Riddle’s Horocrux, wasn’t it?” He questioned.

“I guess. No one has ever studied what would happen to a human who was used as a Horocrux.” She admitted. “Now, you need to get into bed. I’m going to go get you some skelegrow, and sleeping potion. I don’t want you awake until those bones heal.”

She ducked out of the room, and Harry quickly changed into some pajamas he found in the wardrobe. He gingerly climbed into bed; careful not to upset the splint Ginny had put on his leg. He pulled a picture out of his mokeskin pouch of him and Ginny that he’d been too afraid to frame. Colin had given it to him last year, it was the two of them sitting by the lake. He had his arm around her, and she was laughing into the camera. Every once in a while he could see one of the Giant Squids tentacles poking out of the water behind him. Now he didn’t know what to think, because she was treating him like a patient. She had obviously changed a great deal in the past year; did she even love him anymore? He sighed, and stared at the mosquito netting above his head.

Ginny came back into the room holding her healers bag and a glass of milk, and Harry stuck the picture quickly under his pillow.

She smiled at him and sat on the edge of the bed, taking several vials of potion out of her bag. “Here you go,” She said, “This one will help your bruises heal faster, and here’s the skelegrow.”

Harry coughed after swallowing the skelegrow, and she handed him the glass of milk, which he gulped down. He began to feel the familiar pin like sensation in his bones, and started to feel a bit tired. He stifled a yawn, and said,“ I didn’t realize how tired I was!”

“That’s because I put a sleeping potion in your milk.” Ginny laughed. “You need to sleep.”

Harry looked at Ginny in horror. He was planning on doing everything to keep himself awake once she left the room, but now she had slipped him a sleeping potion. There was no escaping his nightmares now!

“I’m sorry, but I know it was the only way to get you to take it.” She passed him another vial. “Here, dreamless sleep potion.”

Harry pushed the vial back towards her. “No use.” He mumbled.

“Neville and I changed the potion last year.” She said, pushing it back. “It’s stronger, I think you’ll find it will take care of whatever you’re dreaming.”

It was then that Harry noticed a long thin scar on Ginny’s neck, probably six or more inches long, starting behind her ear and running down to her shoulder, and disappearing into her collar. He reached his hand toward her shoulder, without thinking, to touch it; she flinched at the contact and reflexively grabbed his wrist and twisted it in defense.

Harry cried out in pain, and Ginny gasped and backed away. They both froze for a long, silent moment, and then Ginny stepped back toward Harry. “I’m sorry.” She whispered. “It was just a reflex.”

Harry nodded, wondering just what those who stayed at Hogwarts last year had been through. “Don’t apologize, I should have thought.” He looked at her for another moment, and then asked, “What happened?”

Ginny distracted herself by examining his arm, and Harry noticed rows of similar scars on the inside of her wrists. She looked at him carefully, as if sizing him up, and then went back to examining him. “A muggle surgery knife.” She said, casually, as though he’d asked her where she got her shirt. “A scrapple?”

“Scalpel.” Harry whispered, and caught her hand, turning it over he counted the marks on her arm. There were nine in all. “But what happened?” He repeated.

Ginny shrugged her shoulders, “The Carrow’s. Ironically, they took a lot of interest in muggle torture, for people who hate muggles so much.” She tried to smile, but it came out a shudder.

“And so, the healing?” Harry asked.

“And so the healing. Madame Pomfrey wasn’t able to help us with everything, they forbid her from treating things after a while, so she taught us how to do it ourselves. After I left Hogwarts at Easter, I kept studying.” She laid Harry’s arm back down. “Come on, you need to get some sleep.”

Ginny started to walk away but Harry whispered, “Stay? Just till I fall asleep?”

She turned around, and settled into the chair, “Just until you fall asleep.”

Harry was soon snoring, and Ginny crept up to the bed, and slipped her hand under the pillow to see what he’d hidden there as she came in. Not knowing what to expect, she gasped when she pulled out the photograph. She set it on the table next to the bed, kissed him on the forehead, and whispered, “I love you Harry”, before slipping out the door.

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