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 5. The next morning, after breakfast, Hermione and Ron set off to Diagon Alley to purchase the items Harry had written onto a piece of parchment. They included food, drinks and things he would need for living on his own. Ginny and Harry were gathering up Harry’s belongings from around the house and putting them into neat piles on Harry’s bed, where Molly was packing them into cases.  

      The last thing he packed was the photo album Hagrid gave him at the end of his first year. Harry thought it’d fit in with his new ones he had yet to look at. He was waiting for a time he could be alone to look at the photo albums, because he felt they would make him cry.

     Molly burst into hears as she buckled the final case closed, and pulled him into a hug that made him realise how much he loved her. Harry hugged her back, and smiled. She was being ridiculous; Harry would still be in the burrow a lot of the time. Aside from Hogwarts, The Burrow was his home. After Molly let him go, she kissed his cheek and left the room. Ginny walked in slowly, smiling at Harry.

      Harry held her in a hug and kissed her. Ginny didn’t respond as he wanted her to; instead she looked up at him and openly grinned.

      ‘I’ll be visiting you tonight,’ She said. Harry raised an eyebrow and tried not to blush or show any surprise or shock.

      ‘Oh, will you?’ He asked indifferently.

      ‘Yes. At midnight.’ Ginny replied. She swiftly kissed his cheek and left, leaving Harry to mull things over.

       Hermione and Ron returned, and a while later George and Arthur did (though at different times.) After another round of butterbeer, the seven of them apparated to grimmauld place.
       After Molly and Arthur got over the initial shock, and had tea, it was time for them to leave. Molly’s goodbye was somewhat tearful, but Arthur seemed quite..proud. Harry thanked them both for everything they had done for him, and said he’d come round for Dinner tomorrow.  George smacked his back and told him to enjoy his new ‘bachelor pad,’ and Hermione hugged him. Ron laughed at all of this, because he (and Harry quite agreed) would be ‘seeing him in the bloody morning!’ Ginny gave him a hug, and before Harry let her go, she whispered in his ear. She’d said ‘Midnight.’ Which left Harry to try and hide his blush once again.
      The house turned quiet as soon as they all left, but it was never uncomfortably quiet as he could hear Kreacher singing in his croaky voice upstairs.
     ‘Can you dance like a Hippogriff?’ He sang and Harry murmured the next line under his breath.
      ‘Kreacher?’ Harry called up the stairs. Kreacher appeared immediately.
       ‘Yes, master?’ He croaked.
       ‘Um, Kreacher. Ginny will be visiting this evening, so uh, if you want to go out to visit Winky in the kitchens tonight I give you permission to.’ Harry said. Kreacher’s mouth opened in a wide smile and thanked Harry profusely before disapparating.
     Harry jogged up the stairs to his new bedroom, and collapsed happily onto the bed. He still couldn’t bring himself to look through the photo albums, he’d had an emotional few days without that to deal with, too. It was ten o’clock, so Harry began to unpack his belongings. He put his broomstick in the office room, along with his old quidditch robes and school uniform. He put his toothbrush and toiletries away in his small bedside bathroom, and went in search of the other bathroom. The bathroom was on the ground floor, behind the old tapestry room. It was unchanged from last time he was here, apart from it had been thoroughly cleaned, right down to the shiny metal feet that held the bath up. He splashed water onto his face and hands, changed into a pair of pyjama bottoms and put his clothes into a basket which was next to the bath.
     Harry went back to his room and unpacked the rest of his clothes into the wardrobe, shoes in a box and his golden snitch was put on the bed side cabinet. He magically sent all the food that Ron and Hermione had got for him to the kitchen, and he heard a thump that confirmed that they had gotten there.
     After an hour, all his belongings were put away and the house felt more like his. The bedcovers were slightly mussed from where he’d been lying on them, and his a pair of his socks were bulging out of the sock drawer. Harry went downstairs, and walked into the living room.

      Where he had the fright of his life.
     ‘Harry?’ Said the voice. The voice he hadn’t heard since he was fifteen. He was in shock, he hadn’t expected to hear that voice ever again. He hiccoughed and slumped into a chair. ‘Harry, don’t freak out.’
     ‘I-uh-what is, uhm, Sirius?’ Harry couldn’t believe his eyes. He couldn’t believe his ears. Sirius was dead. Dead and gone..
     ‘Yes. Harry, it’s me.’ Sirius smiled. It was strange. He wasn’t a ghost, but he wasn’t whole, either.

     ‘What?’ Harry couldn’t believe it.
     ‘Harry, I- Harry, I don’t know why, I don’t understand this at all. But last night, I awoke. I just woke up, here. Like this.’ Sirius signalled with his hands at himself.

      ‘Are you alive?’ Harry asked somewhat stupidly.
      ‘No, I don’t think so. I think it’s an old curse on the house, Walburga must have done it. I only stay for a while, well that’s what happened last night.’ Sirius’s ghostly form sat on the sofa. It was as though he was being projected from a machine somewhere.
       ‘What, why?’ Harry stared at his godfather, who he’d accepted the death of.
     ‘I think, I think that it’s an old curse of the home. I read about it years ago. It’s a blood tie to the house. Old pure blood wizards put them on their homes to frighten off any muggles or non-pure bloods from living in their homes when they pass. Harry, are you okay?’ Sirius asked. Harry had turned a very pale shade of green and was sweating. Harry took a few deep breaths and beckoned for Sirius to go on. ‘It works when the new owner decides to move in. It wouldn’t have worked before, because the house was rightfully, through blood, mine. But I passed the house to you, and we’re not blood related. So I think only now the curse has been able to take place.’ Sirius finished and Harry finally realised that his dead godfather was here. Sitting opposite him, talking to him. He stood up, and Sirius did, too. Harry lunged and pulled Sirius into a hug. It was like hugging a balloon, or a large pressure of air. It was strange, but comforting.
     ‘Sirius.’ Harry sobbed into Sirius’s shoulder. Sirius tapped Harry’s back and laughed.
     ‘Harry, I only have a small while. The curse ends at midnight.’ Sirius said, and Harry nodded. ‘But I’ll be back tomorrow night.’
     ‘Ginny’s coming at midnight.’ Harry said and Sirius smiled his old mischievous grin.
     ‘Well, I knew you two would finally get it together.’ He laughed while Harry wiped his eyes. ‘It’s going to be a big night for you, eh?’
      Harry squirmed and shook his head. ‘I don’t think so, not tonight.’ He said.
      ‘Harry, please don’t let this affect you. I beg you. I’ll be back tomorrow.’ Sirius said, and something odd occurred in Harry’s mind.
      ‘Hang on, where do you go?’ He asked, and Sirius grinned.
      ‘I go back.’ He said.
      ‘So, do you see my Mum and Dad?’ Harry asked timidly.
      Sirius considered this for a moment and then nodded. ‘They’re so proud of you, Harry. So proud.’ Harry went to ask another question but Sirius got there before him. ‘I’ll tell you everything tomorrow, I feel myself going.’
     Sirius seemed to be fading; it was extraordinary and unnerving to watch. ‘Tell them I love them.’ Harry said, and he saw Sirius’s ghostly form nod before it disappeared.
     Harry was confused and happy and frightened. It took him a while to pull himself together, and by the time he did, it was ten past twelve and Ginny was at the door. 

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