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The occupants of Drover’s Haven settled into a rhythm, and the weeks passed by quickly. Harry was spending increasing amounts of time with Trilby, and his old personality was slowly resurfacing. All but his temper, which seemed to be almost entirely Riddle’s personality infecting him. Instead, his housemates found themselves living with a quiet and thoughtful Harry, who seldom jumped to any conclusion and could often be found mediating arguments between his friends. Mrs. Weasley said he’d begun to act much more like his mother.

Hermione had become comfortable with her brace, and was now walking with a single crutch wherever she went. She spent a great deal of time on the internet, which Harry had connected to the muggle house, searching for her parents; as well as doing physical therapy with Neville and Ginny.

Ron tried to help Hermione with the search for her parents wherever possible, but more often than not he got banished from the room for disturbing Hermione’s computer.

“I just don’t understand it.” Hermione said, dropping her head in her hands. “I’ve looked for them in every logical place! The board of dentistry, the Australian dental association, I’ve even checked dentistry forums looking for anything about them! It's been months, I'm never going to find them”

Ron rubbed slow circles on Hermione’s back as he thought about the situation. Then something occurred to him; “Hermione, what if they’re not dentists?”

"What do you mean?" Hermione asked, "of course they're dentists!"

Ron pointed at the screen, "but what if they couldn't find work as dentists when they arrived? Or wanted to try something new?"

"Well, dad did always talk about starting a farm." Hermione said. "He was going to do it after he retired."

"Well, let's check there then." Ron said. “Search for farms with the name Wilkins.”

“I suppose it couldn’t hurt.” Hermione said, doubtfully keying in the search terms. They waited as the results loaded; most were just bogus pages and advertisements, but midway down the page they saw a want ad.

“Wendell Wilkins, skilled ranch foreman,
available for immediate hire for the
coming planting season. Call or write
to inquire.”

“Ron! You’ve done it!” Hermione cried, throwing her arms around Ron. She quickly printed the advert, and grabbed up her crutch. She hurried back to the big house with Ron trailing behind her muttering something about Hermione forgetting she was meant to be an invalid.

“Harry! Harry, come quickly!” Hermione called into the house. “Everyone! Look!”

Harry came crashing down the stairs, the transfiguration book he’d been reading still in one hand, his wand in the other. “What is it Hermione, are you alright?

Hermione thrust the printout into his hand as she panted to catch her breath. Harry read the advert over and a smile broke out onto his face. “You’ve found them!”

“It was Ron’s idea!” Hermione gushed, “He’s the one who suggested they might not be working as dentists after they moved!”

Ron turned as red as a beet, and scuffed his toes. “It was just a suggestion ‘Mione.”

“It was a brilliant suggestion!” She said, hooking her elbow around his neck and pulling him down for a kiss. She started to stumble on her bad leg, when Ron caught her, lifted her up, and spun her around the kitchen.

The next thing anybody knew, they were all dancing in circles around the scrubbed kitchen table. Ron was spinning Hermione, whose feet weren’t even touching the floor. Molly and Arthur were doing some sort of waltz that had them crashing into chairs more often than not. Fleur was leading a conga line of her, Ginny, George, Percy, and Harry around the room. All while Charlie and Bill sang some sort of sea shanty: “Got a Whale of a Tale to Tell Ya Lads, a Whale of a Tale or Two!”

After a few more turns around the kitchen, Ron got dizzy and put Hermione down. They were both laughing and smiling, when Ron said, “You know, I think that’s the first time I’ve really just forgotten it all, and had a bit of real fun!”

“Too right.” Harry said, sitting next to Hermione and once again perusing the avert that she had printed out. “You know, this could actually really work out in everyones favor.”

“How do you mean, Harry?” Mione asked.

“Well, you all know that I want to turn this back into a working property, with crops and animals, the works!” Harry was starting to get excited. “Hermione, your parents could be the caretakers. Your father seems to be looking for work as a foreman anyway!”

“Well, he did always want to start a farm.” Hermione said thoughtfully.

“We had planned on bringing them back here anyway, and this is the perfect reason!” Harry said, jumping up. “I’ll ask him to come interview, that way they’ll come right to us!”

“But Harry,” Hermione said, catching his arm. “They mightn't want to stay in Australia after they’ve had their memories put right.”

“Well then we’re no worse off.” Harry said. “It’s not as though I’d be turning out an existing foreman.”

“Come on Harry, I’ll help you make the arrangements.” Bill suggested, and they went to lock themselves in Harry’s office.

Hermione began excitedly chatting with Ginny and Mrs. Weasley about everything they still needed to get to make the house ready for her parents arrival, and she didn’t see Ron slip outside onto the porch.

He leaned against the railing, looking out over the yard. He was suddenly quite worried. He’d proposed to Hermione on a whim, and while he wasn’t giving it a second thought, he did regret that he hadn’t done things properly: gotten a ring and spoken to her parents. What if her parent’s didn’t like him; he’d only met them briefly.

Mr. Weasley came out onto the porch, sensing something was troubling his youngest son. He didn’t say anything, just handed Ron a butter beer and leaned against the rail next to him.

“Do Muggles ask a girls parent’s for permission before preposing?” Ron asked, after a long silence had passed. “I mean, I know it’s a Wizarding tradition, but do Muggles do the same thing?”

“Well I think, perhaps, it depends on the Muggle.” Arthur said. “Not all Wizards follow that tradition; it’s more of a pure blood idea.”

Ron looked at the ground. “I didn’t even get her a proper ring.”

“Well, I don’t think she said yes to get a ring Ronniekins.” Came the voice of George from the doorway.

“True, but I don’t even have any Galleons to get her a ring.” Ron fell back into a chair, and put his head in his hands. “And she deserves a nice one. If I can’t even get her a ring, how am I going to take care of her!”

“Whoa, slow down there little brother.” George said, with a grin. “Hermione’s about the last witch in the world who would care about either of those things.”

“Besides, there’s a family ring for you to give her.” Arthur said. “If you want it.”

Ron’s head shot up. “What do you mean, like an heirloom? But the Weasley’s don’t have any heirlooms!”

Mr. Weasley laughed, “We don’t have any valuable heirlooms. We do, however, have a long line of big families and the wedding bands that went along with them.”

“Well that would be perfect!” Ron said, getting excited. “I’d love to give her a ring that’s been in the family. I thought only purebloods had family rings!”

“Ron, we are pureblood you git.” George said, “We just don’t let it affect whose hand we put a family ring on. It’s good you’re mixing it up though; you’re a clear example of what happens when bloodlines get too close!”

George dashed out of the way of the jinx Ron aimed at him, and ducked back into the house calling “I know you have webbed toes, I’ve seen them!” as he went.

“What was that about?” Bill asked, as he and Harry joined them on the porch. “Or do I want to know?”

“Just George being a git.” Ron laughed. “To be honest, I’m so glad to see him joking around that I really can’t be too mad at him.”

“Bill, can you have something sent from Gringotts?” Mr. Weasley asked.

"Sure, I'd just need to go down to La Trobe Bank and fill in the right form. The goblins there work with closely with the goblins at Gringotts, so it's shouldn't take much." Bill said.

"Er, about Gringotts," Harry said, starting to ask if there would be consequences for their escapade before the battle.

Bill cut him off, "We've taken care of that for you Harry."

"Taken care of it, how?" Ron asked.

"Well, I spoke to my boss to take a leave of absence when we came out here, and I explained that the break in was necessary to take care of Riddle." Bill explained, "I apologized on behalf of you three, and we came to the agreement that they would forget the matter if you replaced their dragon."

"So I need to get them a dragon?" Harry asked, still confused.

"It's already done." Mr. Weasley said, "Charlie arranged it."

"He... he did?" Harry stuttered, wondering what such an arrangement had cost his friend.

"Actually, Harry... we got the better end of the deal." Said Charlie, whom Harry noticed had been sitting at the other end of the porch. He got up and walked the length of the wooden decking, sitting on the step. "We gave them your bloody Horntail."

"My Horntail?" Harry asked, "From the tournament?"

"Yes, they're actually quite pleased to have it." Bill explained. "It's got a certain prestige, since it was used in the tournament."

"And that ruddy Horntail was nasty; had to be kept away from all the other dragons at the sanctuary." Charlie explained. "Everyone was quite glad to be rid of her."

"So, that's it?" Ron asked, "You give them a dragon, and they just walk away from the only break in they've ever had?"

"It's not the only break in." Bill said.

"Right, remember first year?" Harry pointed out.

"Oh yeah." Ron said. "But surely they'd be more mad than that?"

"Well, most people have forgotten about the break in, what with the following battle." Bill explained.

"Plus, a lot of people clearly remember Bellatrix visiting the bank that day, so the few people who were there assume that the break in was somehow her doing." Mr. Weasley explained. "Using polyjuice was quite smart in that way."

"Well, that's a load off my mind." Harry said. "I was wondering what I was going to do for cash to get this place started. I have a bit left in my vault at Gringotts, but I figured I wouldn't be able to get to it."

Bill snorted. "Right, a bit left."

"Yeah," Harry said, confused. "By now I've used most of it up for school. There's enough left for seventh year, but as I never took seventh year..."

"Harry, you've not visited the bank since you turned 17, have you?" Charlie asked. "I mean, other than the obvious break in attempt.

"Hey, it wasn't an attempt, we succeeded, thanks very much!" Harry said, in mock anger.

"Blimey, you really don't know do you?" Ron asked, looking agog.

"Know what, Ron... I'm completely lost." Harry scrunched up his forehead, "Why would my turning 17 have anything to do with Gringotts?"

"It means you are old enough to claim your full inheritance from your parents." Bill explained, "Old enough to gain access to your family vault."

"But I already have access to my family vault." Harry pointed out. "Dumbledore gave me the key in first year!"

"Harry, man, I thought you knew?" Ron said again, "The Potters are one of the oldest Pure Blood lines. You're descended from the Peverell's themselves!"

"Okay." Harry said, missing the point.

"Your inheritance will be a great deal more than your school vault." Mr. Weasley pointed out.

Harry didn't say anything. He looked out over the grass of the home paddock. He already had so much, and now Mr. Weasley was telling him that there was more. He knew he had some inheritance from Sirius, in the form of property, but most of the Black Family gold had been seized by the ministry.

"Tell you what Harry," Bill said. "We need to go to town tomorrow to set up the things for Hermione's parents, and I've got to go to the bank anyway to send the paperwork in for Ron. Why don't you come with me, and we can have Gringotts send over a complete list of your holdings. I can walk you through everything, and you can do the necessary paperwork to take possession of your parents' vaults."

"Okay." Harry said in a small voice, getting up and walking into the house to the sanctuary of his room.








The next morning arrived early, with the sun streaming into the room and right into Harry's eyes. He'd tossed and turned throughout the night, wondering what his parent's vault might contain.

After a few more minutes, he knew that he wouldn't be able to sleep any longer, and padded down the stairs in stocking feet to the kitchen, where he found Kreacher working on breakfast, with the help of Ditty. When the elves saw Harry come down the stairs, they immediately ushered him into a chair, and offered a cup of tea. Harry gratefully took the strong, Earl Grey and squeezed a slice of lemon into it. He drank this slowly, while paging through one of his transfiguration books.

When he had finished it, he rose to head into his study, "Kreacher, please save breakfast for when everyone is up, and I'll eat then."

He sat down at his desk and started making a list of the things he needed to accomplish by the end of the day. Contact the Grangers, arrange for their travel, visit bank, arrange trust for Teddy, arrange with Bill for acquiring necessities for operation of Drovers Haven...

Just then there was a knock at the door. Harry looked up at the clock, half past seven, and wondered who was up. "Come in!" He called, pushing his list aside.

Kreacher put his head around the door, "Master Harry, Missus Tonks is in the Floo!"

"Oh, I'll be right there." Harry said, putting down his quill and topping his ink bottle. He hurried back into the kitchen, where Mrs. Tonks' head could be seen floating in the green flame.

"'Lo Mrs. Tonks, how are you? Would you like to come through?" Harry said, smiling at the flames.

"Please, it's Andromeda, Harry. And yes, if you don't mind, there's something I'd quite like to discuss." Her head disappeared from the fire and then she came whirling through in a burst of flame.

She had little Teddy in her arms, and looked a bit disheveled. "I didn't wake you did I? I waited until it was as late as I could stand."

"No, not at all, I've been working in my study actually." Harry said, peering over the blanket and into the bundle that was Teddy. "He's gotten so big!"

"Yes, they do tend to do that." Mrs. Tonks said, smiling. "I should have brought his basket to lay him down in."

"Oh, actually, I have a bassinet for him." Harry said. "I found a spell in one of my transfiguration books. It's actually in my study."

"Wow, well done Harry." Mrs. Tonks said, sounding a bit stunned. "Is it upstairs?"

"No, it's just here," Harry said, showing her through the door.

Mrs. Tonks lay down the sleeping Teddy and set a monitoring charm to alert them if he woke. She then followed Harry back to the kitchen and collapsed into one of the chairs at the large scrubbed table.

"Would Missus like tea?" Ditty asked, levitating over a tray.

"Please!" Mrs. Tonks said, pouring a strong cuppa.

Harry poured himself a cup too, and sat down across from her. "What did you want to talk to me about, Mrs. Ton... er... Andromeda?"

"Well, Harry..." She stumbled a bit over her words, "I'm wondering if your offer to come stay here at your farm still stands? I thought I'd want to be home, but there's just too many memories. All alone, with the baby, it's just..."

"Of course, I told you that you were welcome anytime, and I meant that!" Harry said. "I'd love to get to see Teddy more, and there's masses of space here!"

With that, Andromeda burst into tears. The difficulty of managing a newborn alone, so near after the death of all her family was just too much of a strain. "I tried to do it on my own." She stuttered out, between sobs.

"No, don't do that!" Harry said, rushing around to put an arm around Mrs. Tonks, "You mus'nt think that you're alone, ever! There's a whole clan of people here, plus an excess of house elves just waiting to help out!"

"Thanks Harry, it... it wouldn't be permanent." She said, sniffing a bit and taking a deep breath.

"I don't care if it is," He said, conjuring a handkerchief, "Now, the others should be up soon for breakfast. I know it's probably suppertime for you, but eat with us, and we'll work out getting your things moved over!"

By the time everyone else started appearing from upstairs, Mrs. Tonks had finished her tea, and wiped all traces of tears from her eyes. Teddy had woken from his nap and started to fuss, and Harry was attempting to give him a bottle when Mrs. Weasley clapped eyes on him and hurried over to scoop up baby.

"I'll move in with Percy!" George suggested, when Harry had announced that Mrs. Tonks would be staying. "And Andromeda can take my room. There's more than enough space."

"Actually, I was going to let you all know today," Charlie interrupted, "I've had a scrap of paper from work, and they need me back at the Dragon Sanctuary. George, why don't you take over my room in the little house, for the time being."

"And miss out on the opportunity to drive Percy mental?" George said, with an evil grin, "Not a chance!"

Over breakfast, plans for the day were hashed out, and everyone given a task. Mrs. Tonks was going to leave Teddy under the watchful eye of Mrs. Weasley and Ditty, and take Kreacher and the rest of the house elves to help her move her belongings and close up her house in London.

George was going to move his belongings out of his room and into Percy's, as it had been decided that Bill and Fleur would get the little house to themselves. Charlie was packing for his return to Romania. The rest of the family prepared for a trip into the city to visit the bank.

"Shall we Apparate, Portkey, or Floo?" Bill asked the group.

"Well, I've not been to the market yet," Hermione pointed out, "So I couldn't apperate. Let's take a Portkey, that way no one gets lost."

"Hey, that was one time!" Harry protested.

"Portkey it is," said Mr. Weasley, charming a length of rope he'd saved for just such an occasion.

Everyone was is good spirits, as they all went off to their various tasks. Hermione, having not yet seen the city or the wizarding market was doubly excited, "I can't wait to see all of the market stalls. Did you see any booksellers there last time you visited?”

“Sure, remember we brought you those books about Australia.” Ron replied, as they all grabbed hold of the loop of rope. Harry saw him slip his hand around Hermione’s waist just as the portkey spun them towards the market, and watched as he caught her when they landed. Hermione just managed to keep hold of her crutch, and would have gone toe over heel if Ron hadn’t had the forethought to steady her. He waited until she regained her balance, and then set her carefully back on her feet.

“I’d forgotten how dizzy that makes me.” Hermione muttered, her face flushing. She took an extra firm grip on her crutch and started to walk away when Ron matched her pace and took her free hand, turning back and asking, “Which way is the bank meant to be Bill?”

“According to Carl, we have to cross through the market, and we’ll come out in Queen Street. If we follow that to La Trobe St, the bank is meant to be under a pub on the corner.” Bill explained, looking about for the proper direction.

The group began working their way through the crowded market, pausing frequently to browse in the stalls filled with all manner of interesting wizarding accoutrements.

Fleur was the first to notice a section of clothes and robes of all colors and styles. She gazed longingly at a display of silk dresses and said with a sigh, “Eet ‘as been so long since I ‘ave worn somezing preety.”

“There hasn’t been much cause for finery over the past year,” Hermione said, rather wistfully, “You’d look lovely in this green dress Ginny.”

The girls started to move past the dresses, when Mr. Weasley spoke up, “Why don’t you ladies stay here and window shop? We shouldn’t take long at the bank, just filling in some forms, and we need to come back this way to get home anyway.”

It took a bit of convincing, but finally Ginny, Hermione, and Fleur were left to browse the market. As the men headed for the bank, they heard the girls giggling over a hideous green frock covered in ostrich feathers.

“That is a beautiful sound.” Bill said, smiling at his wife’s laughter.

“That it is.” Mr. Weasley said. “It’s been far too long since any of us have done something pointless and fun.”

They made their way down Queen Street in search of the bank, Harry noticed Ron had dropped back a bit and was looking a bit blue. He slowed his pace to match his friend, “Why the face, mate?”

“I’m worried about Hermione.” Ron admitted, after a moment. He looked at the ground, stepping around an ice cream that someone had dropped.

“You seem to have a handle on when she needs help.” Harry pointed out. “You caught her when the portkey landed so she didn’t fall.”

“I know, I’d carry her everywhere if I thought it’d help.” Ron said, “But you know Hermione, she’s stubborn, and she likes to do things for herself. You know she’ll feel like a failure for needing help.”

“I know.” Harry sighed.

The walked in silence for a few paces, and then Ron spoke up again, “Er, Harry… we haven’t exactly gotten a chance to talk, um, since I proposed I mean. You don’t… mind, do you? About me and Hermione?”

Harry grinned, “Of course not, I couldn’t be happier for you! You’ve loved her since first year, I’m glad you finally admitted it to yourself.”

Ron ducked his head, “Was it that obvious?”

“Well, if you’d wised up sooner, you probably would have had a much better time at the Yule Ball.” Harry joked, and then in a more somber tone he continued, “I know she’ll try to stop you, but take care of her. She deserves it for a change, Merlin knows she’s been taking care of everything for too long.”

“That’s the plan.” Ron said.

The group crossed the road and located the correct pub. “Carl said we ask the bartender for a ‘pint to go’ and he’ll direct us from there.” Bill explained.

Despite the early afternoon hour, there were a few people in the pub, watching muggle sport on tv, and drinking beer.

They went to the bar, and said the correct passcode, and the barkeep jerked his thumb to a faded velvet curtain behind him. The quickly ducked through the thick fabric, passed through a store room, and down a set of steps into the lobby of the bank.

“Hello, I wrote for an appointment with the manager.” Bill said to the goblin who had hurried over to help them.

The Goblin nodded, “Of course, Mr…?”

“Weasley. Bill Weasley.” Bill said

“Yes, of course,” the Goblin said, “If you’ll follow me to his office…” and started quickly down a hallway, with the Weasleys and Harry hurrying to keep up.

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