Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or make any money from this.
AN: Just another one shot. Most of my shots are just ideas that I've had which I really don't think I could develop a whole lot. They also keep me busy while I work on other stories and allow me to clean up the files in my idea folder. For those of you who follow me, Harry and Suzy: Makeover Edition is being worked on but going slow. The fourth chapter is being written but as you well know, it is taking some time. I think once I get passed the part I am working on, it will start progressing at a faster pace gain. I hope you enjoy!
Escape the Crapilogue
It was finally over and Voldemort was gone forever. Harry Potter sighed in relief as he had completed the task that had been placed on his shoulders as a baby. It amazed him that he lived to talk about it despite all of Dumbledore's plans to the contrary. As he turned from the defeated form of Voldemort, two things leapt out at him. The first was that Hermione was wrapped around Ron and kissing him for all she was worth. That one scene sent a sharp pain through his chest as his heart broke. Harry had been in love with Hermione ever since she helped him save Sirius from the Dementors. He knew it was his fault for never telling her how he felt but still, your first and only true love with someone else was not something you wanted to see.
You see for years, Harry felt he was a walking dead man and had no future and the fact that he was walking away from the final battle was quite a shock to him. In Harry logic, he never approached Hermione because didn't want to put her through the pain of his death if they were together or the chance that she would be targeted because of him. In his heart, he loved her enough to risk his own happiness for her survival. His only real issue was that she had chosen Ron and while he loved Ron, he had proven himself lazy and unreliable too many times. Harry just couldn't understand why the driven and loyal Hermione would ever pair up with Ron.
The second thing he saw was Ginny in Neville's arms doing the same thing as Hermione. Again, Harry's heart tore a little more. While he did love Ginny and enjoyed their time together last year, he had broken up with her because his heart belonged to Hermione not to mention he didn't want anything to happen to her while he was gone. Her being with Neville was only natural as he never asked her to wait on him. Again, it was his fault. If he were to sit down and analyze his feelings, he would have to say that Ginny was always his back up plan. She may not be Hermione but he knew they would have a happy life together.
As he took in the scene, he flashed a small smile as he really was happy that his friends had found happiness amongst all the horrors and death of the last few years. He also thought that it was for the best as it would take him a long time to get over the personal horrors he had endured to get to this point and he couldn't place the burdens of his heart on someone while trying to build a relationship at the same time.
While everyone's attention was elsewhere, Harry retrieved his cloak and wondered off towards the Forbidden Forest. He needed time to think. As he walked, he reflected on his life and how everything that had happened to him had all been building up to that moment. Now that the moment was past, what was left for him? In his mind and heart, he wasn't broken, just unfocused and without a purpose anymore and the only people who could help him regain that focus were in the process of restarting their lives. For the first time in many years, Harry Potter wasn't needed anymore. He was conflicted about it as he was relieved on one hand but yet saddened on the other but he vowed not to be like Dumbledore and try to live up to his reputation. No Harry would be content to fade into the background and never be heard from again.
As he walked, his magic pulled him down the same path he took when he went to face Voldemort. As soon as he learned of the horcrux inside him, it was almost a relief that his part in this whole twisted act would be over soon. He tried to go quietly to his death in order to save his loved ones but like everything else in his life, things went wrong and he was still here. As he walked, he felt a strong pull and stopped to see the stone lying on the ground. He bent to pick it up and as soon as he touched it, he felt a strong pulse of magic flow through him. For the first time in the history of magic, the Hallows were reunited under one Master. The surge of magic took root in his magical core and started guiding him along a new path.
The symbol of the Hallows passed across his mind and for the first time, Harry noticed a small notch in the side of the Elder wand. Just doing what felt natural, he slid the stone into the notch where it fit perfectly and went down to his knees in a meditative position while throwing his father's cloak over his head. Still following the pull of his magic, he held the wand in front of him with both hands. The next thing Harry knew, he found himself in a large sitting room that felt strangely familiar to him. As he looked around, he noticed a crest on the wall with the name POTTER emblazoned across it.
The room felt very peaceful to him and after all he had just been through, he decided to just relax and enjoy it. After what seemed like hours but was probably just a few minutes, Harry heard a door opening. He quickly turned around to find his Mum and Dad along with Sirius and Remus walking in. Harry was up in a flash and pulling them into hugs. He lingered at Sirius who said "You did it pup" as he ruffled his hair.
They talked about everything that had happened and Harry finally asked "So, I reunited the Hallows. Does that mean I'm the Master of Death?"
Everyone looked at him then at each other and burst out laughing. Lily finally answered "No baby, there can be no master over death. Those stories and legends were all blown out of proportion. At the most, you may be considered a companion of death. Especially after all you have been through."
"I don't understand."
James said "Son, there are some benefits to possessing all the Hallows but over the years, the stories were glamorized and embellished to the point where the objects became almost mystical. One of the only ways to truly possess the Hallows is to not really want to. In fact, if you are seeking power and glory, the Hallows won't give you their full potential and it's not like anyone really knows because they have never been united ever since they entered the living world."
Sirius said "The main benefit is that you can always cross over and come talk to us. Normally, you would only be able to do it once a year but Death decided to reward you after defeating Voldemort and felt it only fair after the hell your life has been. He watched Dumbledore keep you in the dark and wants to give you the opportunity to learn from us what you would have known if Albus hadn't stuck his crooked nose into places it didn't belong."
Lily said "The other benefit to possessing the Hallows is that you cannot be killed by curses or unnatural causes."
"Isn't that cheating?"
"Not really, you will still age like normal and die of old age."
Harry nodded and asked "So is there anything else?"
Sirius sheepishly replied "Yeah, there's one other thing. Your true name is Harrison James Orion Potter-Black."
Sirius grinned "I blood adopted you when you were a baby. You are my blood and magical heir."
James laughed "Harry, the short version is that after Sirius instigated that attack on Severus, he retaliated in the worst manner possible and slipped Sirius a potion rendering him sterile. Sirius and I had long been blood brothers and after you were born and he came to us and begged us to let him adopt you. He knew if the title of Lord Black passed to you, that he could begin the redemption of his family."
"What's this about Lord Black?"
James laughed and said "Sorry I forgot Albus kept all that hidden. In the magical world, there are some family lines that stand out above the others. Potter and Black are two of these and if Albus hadn't interfered, you would already be Lord Potter as well as Lord Black."
Sirius threw in "That doesn't include the lines that have basically gone extinct and been absorbed by both those houses."
Lily looked at his dumbfounded look and said "Hmm…let's see….Gryffindor, he was a Potter, Peverell, they took the name Potter after the Hallows, oh yeah and Slytherin but that was all you by defeating Tom."
Harry gasped out "So what am I supposed to do?"
Sirius said with a smile "Live, get married, have a bunch of kids."
Harry looked down and muttered "Kinda hard when the one I love is in love with someone else."
Sirius frowned and said "So you finally woke up to your feelings about Hermione. I'm glad but at the same time, you can't blame her for not waiting anymore."
He sighed "I know"
Remus patted him on the shoulder and said "There are a lot more fish in the sea. I remember several girls who were quite taken with you and before you say anything, they were not 'fan girls'.
Remus laughed "Now where's the fun in that? Cub, the past is now the past and there is no way to go back and fix the mistakes we made so all you can really do at this point is to look to the future. Hopefully all the bad is behind you now and you can open your eyes to the world around you. You'll be surprised at what you might find."
He sighed again "I'll try."
Remus continued "I know Sirius and I weren't always there for you but I ask that you don't follow our example. Please be there for my son. He will need his godfather."
With a determined look, Harry replied "I will be, I promise. No one should have to go through what I did."
Lily stood and said "Come on baby, time to rejoin the living world. Remember we are always here for you. From this point on, you will walk a different path and leave your old life behind."
"What do you mean?"
"By their acceptance of you, the Hallows have chosen you to be their protector for the time being until there are once again three brothers who can share the responsibility."
"So my job now is to keep them safe?"
"Yes as well as out of the hands of wizards who would corrupt their powers."
Harry jerked as he came back into reality. After stretching, he considered the Hallows and all that he had learned and thought it best to hide the fact that he had possession of them. He took a chance and pulled his holly/phoenix feather wand out of his mole skin bag. After a quick 'reparo', the shaft of his old wand sealed itself but no sparks shot in the air which meant that the wand's core was beyond help. Feeling a pull on his magic again, he held the elder wand and his old wand in the same hand. The wands started to glow and soon the Elder wand melded into the holly wand right before his eyes. The best part was that the stone moved to the hilt when the wands combined and he was left holding a slightly darker version of his old wand with a black stone on the butt of it.
Now that the problem of hiding the Elder wand and the stone were taken care of, he slowly made his way back to the castle. When he entered the Great Hall, he saw Ron and Hermione along with Neville and Ginny still all over each other. He gave them a quick but painful smile and continued moving. He stopped when he saw the bodies of Remus and Tonks and knelt beside them. He reached over and placed their hands in one another's and held them in his own. With his head bowed, he said a quick prayer for them to have peace and happiness in the next life and reaffirmed his promise to always watch after Teddy.
As he rose and started walking again, he saw a lot of eyes upon him. Some were filled with awe while many others contained something he was quite used to. Loathing, anger, and hate. He narrowed his eyes and focused on the Weasleys who were over in a corner.
The scene he came upon was one of Molly and Arthur sobbing over Fred and when their eyes fell upon him, he saw something in them he had never seen before. He took a step back when it dawned on him that they were blaming him for Fred's death. Fleur was the first to react and tried pulling him away but it was too late as Molly was already on her feet and lunging for him. He reeled from the unexpected smack to his face and he stood there stunned. George looked up and asked "Haven't you done enough? Please leave."
His eyes travelled to his friends who were looking down at the ground and sadly nodding their heads. It was then that his tears started flowing as the full impact hit him. He was right all along, things would have been better if he had just stayed dead.
Harry silently turned and walked away in contemplation. His only thoughts were of getting as far away from these people as possible. He felt a calming presence settle over him and it was as if he could feel his mother's arms wrapped around him. It was then that he realized what she had meant. It was time to put this life behind him.
As he made his way to the doors in an attempt to get far away from these people, he was stopped by Minerva who asked "Where do you think you are going Mr. Potter? There are a lot of people who would like to thank you."
"Not from what I've seen."
She huffed "Well, you need to stay and let Poppy have a look at you."
He looked her in the eye "No thanks Professor. I did what I had to so I think its time I moved on. Besides, there's nothing left here for me now."
She looked hurt "How can you say that? Your friends and family are all here."
"No ma'am, there's nothing for me here. First it was Mum and Dad and then Sirius. Now, Remus and Tonks are gone and the Weasleys are blaming me when all they've lost is Fred. Don't get me wrong, he always was one of the older brothers I needed to help me along and I'll miss him but how can one person compare to every member of your family? I should have just stayed dead when Tom killed me in the forest then maybe everyone would be happy now."
She looked at him confused and he just unbuttoned his shirt to show her his new lightning bolt scar on his chest. Her hand went up to her mouth in shock as she realized that he had once again bested the killing curse. He stepped forward and pulled her into a hug. "Thanks for everything you've done for me Aunt Minnie. I guess I'll officially resign as a student of Hogwarts at this point."
She was stunned as he called her by the name James did and stepped out of the door. A lone tear fell down her cheek as she watched one of her favorite students walk away from the life he had here. She wanted to ask him to return to the school to finish his education but knew it would be pointless. As she turned around, she cast a cold gaze at the people who had taken even more away from him.
One lone girl sat nearby and watched as Harry walked away. She overheard what he said to Professor McGonagall and could truly relate to him since she had lost every bit of her family to Voldemort as well. Susan whispered to herself "After Voldemort, Dumbledore, his relatives, and all the other crap he's been through, Harry Potter was finally defeated by Molly "The Harpy" Weasley."
As she stood, her eyes locked with Minerva's for a brief moment before she made her way over. "I think he's got the right idea. I too have given more than my fair share for this world."
Minerva could only respond with a nod in horror at facing the fact that the last of two of their world's oldest families have finally been pushed past the point of no return. The loss of the Bones, Potter, and Black Houses would have a very negative affect on magical England for a long time to come.
Susan caught up to Harry right as he was about to exit the gates of the castle. Breathlessly she said "Hey Harry, where are you going?"
"Hey Sue, um… I thought about going away for a while."
"I can't blame you after all you've been through only to be attacked once again by the Harpy."
"Molly, the red-headed nightmare. I saw the whole thing."
""Oh yeah, that."
"Come on Harry, you're not going to stand there and tell me you're alright with it."
"Hell Sue, why do you think I'm leaving? The people who I thought were my family just turned and blamed me because they lost one person. Don't get me wrong, I'm sorry Fred's gone but nobody has any idea what it's like to lose everybody… Oh crap Sue, I'm sorry, I forget there is one person who knows how I feel."
"It's okay Harry. I know what you're feeling. Hannah lost her cat in the fire that the DE's set at her house and it was the end of the world. She sat there and cried for days but when my Aunt was murdered, it was oh, you'll be alright. None of them could ever really understand but yet they expect us to be the strong ones and continue on. I think I've about had it with the selfishness in this world."
"I'm just tired of fighting, I'm tired of watching my friends and family die, I'm tired of trying to make our world a better place only to know that the bastards in charge will go right back to doing what they did before. I'm just sick of England at this point."
"So what are you going to do?"
"I thought I'd go by Gringotts and try to settle up with them and if I had anything left, I was going to go away and never look back."
She sheepishly looked up at him and said "Sounds nice, want some company?"
The situation at Gringotts was quite tense as soon as Harry and Susan stepped through the door. They were quickly surrounded by Goblin warriors and there was no less that six halberds pointed at their throats. Harry stood there calmly as he expected something like this to happen but Susan took offense to it and it was evident that she had learned her lessons well at her aunt's knee.
"What is the meaning of this? I demand to speak with the manager at once and if I'm not satisfied with his answers, I can promise you the Bones accounts will be moving elsewhere."
An older Goblin dressed in fine robes entered the lobby and stopped right in front of them. "Good afternoon Lady Bones, I apologize for your hostile greeting but you are in the company of a wanted criminal of the Goblin Nation for his crimes against us."
"I am well aware of what he did. The fact that he voluntarily came here to try and settle things between himself and your nation should speak of his character and at least grant him the opportunity to explain his actions. I would also think it is in your best interest to hear him out since if I'm not mistaken, he controls a large portion of the wealth that is held here and probably a lot more than you realize after his actions these last few days. I would think it would be good business to discuss the matter with him before you end up losing both his and my fortunes."
He turned to the guards "Please escort our honored guests to my office so that we may conduct our business in private."
Once he said that, the guards lowered their weapons and took a respectful step backwards. The head of the guards bowed and motioned for them to follow him. Ragnok remained silent as they walked towards his office but the whole time he was listening to the quiet conversation being held between the two teenagers.
"Sue, I think you made a mistake. The only money I have is my trust vault. I was told that it was all my parents left me so that I could go to school and if I was careful, it may last long enough for me to get started once I got a job." Ragnok's eyebrows rose when he heard this.
Susan replied "Harry, the Potters were one of the oldest houses in our world which means that your family can trace its lineage back to the time of the Founders. Most houses like that are extremely wealthy so I doubt your trust vault is all you have."
Harry innocently asked "What about the Blacks? My godfather told me that he was leaving me everything but I never heard anything about it and I think he was the last Lord Black."
"The Blacks were at least equal in stature as the Potters. I will help you figure it all out but for now, let's try and work something out with Lord Ragnok."
When they arrived at Ragnok's office, he motioned towards two chairs in front of his massive mahogany desk. As they sat he said "Forgive me for eavesdropping but it was hard not to hear your conversation. From what I gathered Mr. Potter, you are not aware of your family's status in the world or its holdings. While I may be a mere Goblin, it seems that someone didn't do there duty concerning you. May I ask who your magical guardian was?"
Harry replied with a bow "Lord Ragnok, I don't consider you a mere Goblin by any means. You've showed me respect when by all accounts, you have no reason too. In all my dealings with your people, I can only recall one incident where I was not treated with dignity and honesty so in my eyes, your race has treated me much better than my own. As far as my magical guardian, I have no idea what you are talking about. The only guardians I know of were my aunt and uncle and then my godfather who couldn't do his duty because he was on the run."
"Am I to assume that you have never received a statement of your accounts from Gringotts?"
Harry's eyebrows rose in surprise. "Do you do that? I knew my aunt's bank did but I've never received anything from Gringotts. I didn't even learn that I had a vault until I came here to get gold to purchase my school supplies when I was eleven."
Susan said "Harry, you should have received statements every quarter. Every heir is sent one since they are expected to take over the family accounts one day. Amelia sat down with me and explained the transactions to me ever since I was eleven."
Ragnok said "I know we have some rather unpleasant business to deal with but as I hear all this. I have to wonder if we have failed to do our duties to you or if there was something else going on. The cost of the damages to Gringotts works out to be one hundred thousand galleons which include any fines levied against you. I'm telling you this so that you know what we expect as compensation before we deal with these other matters."
Harry thought for a minute before saying "I don't know how much is left in my trust vault but you can have all of it. As far as what I still owe, I will do whatever it is you ask of me to settle the debt."
Susan cried "Harry, No!"
He turned to her "Sue, I really appreciate your help but I freely admit that I committed these acts. I just don't have it in me to fight anymore. I've lost too much to really care at this point."
Susan sat there with tears falling down her face at his admission and Ragnok sat back and watched the whole scene in interest. As the room grew quiet once again, he said "I don't think it will come to all that. Now, what I would like to do is an inheritance test so that we can determine if you have the gold to cover your fines. Once we get that started, I would like to hear your reasons for stealing from one of our vaults. I like to think I'm a pretty good judge of character and from what I know of you and have heard today; you deserve a chance to explain yourself. I know you are Harry Potter but this test will tell me who you really are by blood. It will also allow me to summon the appropriate files so that I can look for any wrong doings."
Director Ragnok summoned another goblin into his office and had Harry provide them with a vial of blood. Before he could leave to perform the test, Ragnok said "While you are here, go ahead and test Lady Bones as well. With all the chaos of the last few years, she may well have gained a larger inheritance."
Harry and Susan looked at him dumbfounded for a minute to which Ragnok just chuckled. "I thought we might as well do that as well to help you plan for the future. And since we are waiting on the results, perhaps Mr. Potter could relate his story to me so that I can better understand his transgressions against my institution."
Harry gulped and then started telling his story. "Well Sir, it all began back in Godric's Hollow on the night my parents were murdered. According to Dumbledore (He noticed a slight scowl on Ragnok's face.), something strange happened and I became a Horcrux. I was taken away from my Godfather and placed…"
Ragnok sat there steaming the whole time Harry told his story. At several points, Harry stopped in fear that Ragnok would disembowel him right there. Susan reached over and grasped his hand and whispered "I don't think he's mad at you Harry. Just keep going."
Ragnok heard this and replied "Too right Lady Bones. I apologize Mr. Potter but things just don't add up but it's nothing you've done. Please continue and I'll try to control myself better."
Harry continued and by the time he was done, Ragnok was just looking at him in amazement. "So, you broke into my bank because one of those vile things was being kept here. Hmmm, I wonder how that could have happened unless they had inside help because the moment it appeared in the bank, it should have set off all kinds of alarms. May I ask why you didn't come to us about it?"
"Quite frankly Sir, I didn't know who I could trust and if I had approached you and you had been in league with Voldemort, he would have known what I was doing and made it a whole lot harder for me to complete my task."
Ragnok sat there and nodded. "I can see your point of view and most certainly would have acted in the same way if I had been in your situation. It doesn't excuse your fines and fees but it allows me some discretion in dealing with you. The fact that my nephew Griphook betrayed you places a debt of honor to you upon my clan. It's probably a good thing that Voldemort killed him before we found out about all this."
Harry said "I see no debt between us. We all did things we wouldn't normally have done in these last few years."
Ragnok sat back in his chair and thought for a minute. "Never the less, I feel my clan along with this institution owe you at least a boon for what you did. You see, under the terms of the treaty with your Ministry, Lady Lestrange first violated it by bringing that vile object here. By us hiding it, we too violated the treaty and under its terms, the Ministry would be well within their rights to confiscate all of our assets if this were to be known. So in order to, how shall I say it?... buy your silence in this matter, we shall grant you both something to help you in the life ahead. That is if it is agreeable to you."
Susan replied "I find that acceptable." She turned to Harry and asked "What do you think?"
"I think I'd just be happy to be back in your good graces but it is something to consider."
Ragnok nodded and at the same time, a knock was heard at the door. When Ragnok bade them enter, the Goblin who was performing the test walked in with a very pale face. Ragnok looked up at him and said "Grinder, what is the problem?"
"I'm sorry Milord but I have the results of their tests. I think you should see for yourself Sir."
Ragnok took the two parchments are started reading them. Every once in a while, his eyes would dart up to look at the two teenagers with a gleam in his eye. When he could finally speak, he asked "Who wants to go first?"
Harry said. "Ladies first."
Susan turned and smiled at him. "You can go first Harry, I'm sure mine is nothing special."
"No, you'd better go first. I have the feeling what mine says will probably leave us rather overwhelmed."
Ragnok said "Lady Bones, along with your family title, you have also inherited several families that have recently been eliminated. These include the MacNair, Nott, and Crouch lines. There is also a note that Alistair Moody left everything to you in the event of his death.
Harry looked at her strangely and she said "What? We're both related to most of the old families in one way or another. Just you wait until we hear yours."
Ragnok chuckled at their bantering and said "As far as abilities go, it says you have an affinity for charms and transfiguration and a gift in languages."
"What does a gift in languages mean?"
"It just means that you can pick up other languages easily and should have an easy time with Runes."
She nodded. "Anything else?"
"It seems you also have the empathy gift along with being a natural occlumens."
She smiled back and said "Thank you director. You have given me much to think about."
He turned to Harry and said "Mr. Potter, if I wasn't looking at your abilities I would think that you had the gift of sight but since it's not here, let's just say that you made a very good guess."
Harry groaned. Susan reached back over, grabbed his hand again, and smiled. Ragnok cleared his throat "I think before we begin, I shall have my people start gathering the appropriate files." He snapped his fingers and several aids bustled into the room. After showing them the files he wanted, they hurried back out to complete the tasks he had set before them.
"Now, Mr. Potter, it seems that not only do you control House Potter but House Black as well. The Houses of Gryffindor and Peverell come with the House of Potter."
Harry nodded "Yes I was aware of that."
"With your defeat of Thomas Marvolo Riddle no less than five times, you can also claim the title and assets of House Slytherin."
Harry nodded again and said "I was aware of that also. Would it be possible to combine it with House Potter much like Gryffindor and Peverell?"
Ragnok looked at him strangely for a minute before moving on. "Yes, that would be completely acceptable. Now the title to House Black gets quite a bit more complicated. As you know, they were a dark family and had claimed many lesser houses as vassals and one of the more powerful vassal houses have in turn claimed vassals of their own. House Malfoy is such a case. They have taken the Goyle and Crabbe houses as vassals but as such they hold no wealth. House Malfoy is quite wealthy and from what I understand, they owe quite a debt to you. It would be well within your rights to take their fortune from them. House Black can also lay claim to the Lestrange vaults since there were no heirs. With that being the case, we cannot charge you for breaking into your own vault."
Harry asked "But it wasn't my vault at the time."
"Yes but it is now so we will only charge you for damages to the bank."
Harry was shaking his head. "Wait a minute; does this make me like a Lord or something?"
Susan giggled and said "Of course it does Lord Potter-Black. All you have to do is put on your rings."
Ragnok smiled "We're getting to that. Now, is there anything you would like to do with the Malfoy house?"
"Not at this time, they are cowards and ran away from the final battle. However Narcissa did save my life."
Susan leaned over and whispered in his ear. After she finished, Harry nodded his head and said "On second thought, take my fine from their vaults and absorb the Lestrange line into House Black."
Ragnok smiled "It will be done as you ask Lord Black. Now, have either of you given any thought to the future?"
Harry replied "I thought I'd travel for a bit. A vacation as such from all I have been through these last few years."
Susan snorted "Running away from the fan girls is more like it."
Harry smiled "There is that. But with this lord thing…does it mean I have to stay here now?"
Ragnok gave a feral grin. "Not necessarily. You can appoint others to act in your stead so that you don't have to deal with it."
Before they left the bank, Harry and Susan were both wearing their family rings. Susan copied Harry and absorbed all the houses she inherited into the Bones lines therefore effectively ending their status in the magical world. By the time business was finished, Gringotts was the proud proxy of all the seats held by both the Potter and Black Houses along with the House of Bones. As an added insult, Harry ordered the Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle seats be placed under his supervision and they too were added to what Gringotts would oversee for them.
After spending so much time in the tent during the winter along with his years at Hogwarts, Harry was craving some warmth and sunshine. Their first month was spent lying on a beach in the Caribbean as Harry tried to exorcise the darkness that was eating at his soul. Susan sat quietly nearby always within easy reach or just to lend a sympathetic ear.
At the end of the second month, they were still on the same beach but Harry had finally had the courage to talk to Susan about his life and all that he had been through. The fact that she was still sitting there after what she heard in Gringotts and all she had heard and seen in the last two months impressed Harry to no end. It was then that Susan's hope and diligence began to pay off as their interactions were now hinting of the possibility of forming a relationship. It was also the first time either expressed their insecurities to each other about who they were. The boy with the scar and the redhead with the boobs were far away from the shores of England and now only Harry and Susan remained.
It didn't hurt that during the third month, Susan grew increasingly daring in her swimming attire. For the first month, she remained in a conservative one piece. During the second month as her body healed and she began to shed a few unwanted pounds as she got back into better physical shape, she still wore a one piece but it began to shrink.
Although they did lie around on the beach quite a bit, Susan did drag Harry to his feet to join her in her fitness routine. With his mind finally coming free of the horror he had faced, Harry began to notice Susan in a more physical way. It didn't hurt that she had graduated to a bikini which caused her to smile as Harry began checking her out on the sly.
Their morning runs gave her more confidence as he tended to run behind her more often than not. She knew he was fitter than she was and could easily outrun her but evidently he chose to run behind her for a reason. To test this theory, the next morning, she came out in a thong and took off down the beach. That was the morning of their first kiss and the first time she felt what her teasing was doing to the young man.
With Harry on the road to recovery and finally having some of the fire in his eyes that she had been attracted to when they were at school, Susan pushed him into doing something that was well overdue. An activated portkey followed by an apparation found them on the steps of the Tonks' house.
Once they knocked, a very tired and worn looking Andi met them at the door and invited them in. Teddy was on the floor playing and Harry could not take his eyes off the boy. He sat down in the floor and began playing with Teddy while the ladies talked.
Their discussion led Susan to believe that Andi was still having trouble as well and without a second thought, she asked Andi if she and Teddy would join them on their holiday. At first Andi refused but Susan gradually wore her down with the promise of being able to help with Teddy if she did.
Three hours later, everything that Andi wanted to take with her was packed thanks to the help of a few free house elves. The house was then cleaned thoroughly by the elves before being placed into stasis until Andi decided to return. Before they left, Susan handed the elves a few galleons apiece and thanked them for their help.
Their next stop was a resort in the Pacific islands where they had their own private beach. Most days were spent with the ladies enjoying the sunshine and talking as Harry and Teddy played in the sand and surf. As time passed, Susan and Andi grew closer and their friendship grew into something resembling a mother/daughter relationship. While it wasn't their intention, both women were drawn to each other as replacements for all they had lost.
Another benefit Andi realized was that she was quickly returning to her role as grandmother to little Teddy as Harry and Susan took up the roles of parents to him. The life she was now living finally allowed her time to heal the emotional wounds she carried with Susan's counseling.
She knew that her son-in-law and daughter would be happy with this as they held a high amount of respect and love for Harry. Andi would have to shamefully admit that she had been wrong when she argued against Harry as Teddy's godfather with all that he had stacked against him already.
She could now see why Remus and Dora were so adamant about it with the looks of love shared between what she now considered her two boys. With as good of job Remus and Dora did naming a godfather, it was only inevitable that they would have failed with the godmother.
Before he originally left the country, Harry sent a letter to her explaining what was going on and how he needed to get away for a bit to pull himself back together and then he would return for them. During the time that Harry was gone, Andi never once heard from Hermione Granger even though she had accepted the honor when asked by Remus and Dora. What was equally disturbing was she never acknowledged her place in Teddy's life even after it was disclosed during their will reading in front of witnesses. Hermione may have been lauded as a heroine of the war but Andi's opinion of her was not a very good one.
Andi realized where her thoughts had taken her and quickly banished them from her mind as Teddy giggled at the antics of his new mommy and daddy. She watched as the three of them played in the water and she couldn't he happier for all of them as she once again had a family as well.
About six months into their holiday, Susan began to make her play at making Harry hers officially. They were together but there was no formal status to their relationship and quite frankly, it bothered her. She and Harry shared many kisses but that was as far as it went despite Susan's hints otherwise. There were times when Susan's boldness reminded Andi so much of Dora. And like her daughter, Susan would stop at nothing to accomplish her goals. Andi knew that Susan already had Harry's attention but the day she walked onto the beach wearing nothing but a thong had Harry completely captivated. When Andi saw her, her raised eyebrow was met by a smirk on the younger woman's face.
A year later found Harry on one knee in front of a very pregnant Susan. They were married two weeks later in a very private ceremony with their magical blessing conferred on them by a local shaman.
They continued their nomadic life for a few more months before finally deciding to settle down in a home of their own. Andi found it amusing that their idea of home was far different than anyone else's. Harry decided that the nomadic life agreed with him after being held prisoner for so many years. It was obvious that he was attracted to places where the views were wide and expansive as he had an aversion to being closed in ever again. After a long family discussion and considering the wealth they had at their disposal, the small family decided on two sites.
The first was an island in Fiji where they would make their main home. After touring the island, it was very clear to them that they all loved the place and it would make a nice and private place to live out their lives. Harry's contacts in Gringotts led to construction being completed in less than two months. The house they built was large as it contained ten bedrooms but it was not as ostentatious as many of the old family manors in England. It was also built to blend in with the island and look as if it naturally belonged there. Thanks to the Goblins, it had considerable wards which would not only repel attacks but protect the house from the horrendous storms that sometimes passed through the region.
As for the second property, Susan decided on staying true to her Scandinavian roots and chose Norway. Her reasoning was that it was far enough from England to keep unwanted visitors away but close enough to their home country to suit their needs. A search through the Bones family deeds found a very inaccessible section of land located on one of the fjords that Norway was well known for. Susan's idea was to build the house into the wall of the fjord which would be enclosed in glass with all kinds of charms on it to hide its existence. The Goblins of Gringotts were elated to have the chance to build something that fell so well within their expertise of tunneling.
With them also having homes of their own, they kept the Tonks' house along with the Potter, Black, and Bones manors under stasis until the time came where they or one of their children may want to open them back up again and live there.
During the whole time they were together, Susan noticed that Harry would always slip off by himself for several hours about once a month. He would never answer her where he went but always seemed to be in a little better mood whenever he came back.
It wasn't until they were married that Harry took Susan by the hand and led her to a secluded spot on the beach. He asked her to sit down and took up the spot right in front of her. As she began to question him, he placed his finger over her mouth and pulled the cloak over them. Just as she was about to once again ask what he was doing, he pulled his wand and took her hands in his. When they arrived on the other side, she was stunned as she was greeted by his family. She was immediately set upon by Lily who pulled her into a hug and thanked her for giving Harry the love he deserved. She was no sooner out of the hug when she was engulfed in one by Remus and Tonks who thanked her for the care she was showing their son and for Harry.
Once the initial greeting died down, Harry nodded to his father who went through a door and brought back the three people that Susan missed the most. It was a tearful reunion as Susan held her parents and Aunt Amelia close. It became a monthly event for both of them as they were finally able to talk to everyone that had meant the most to them in their lives. The only downside of the whole thing was that it was something they could never tell Andi or allow her to experience since the only reason Susan was allowed was due to her marriage bond with Harry.
Ten years later, Harry and Andi escorted eleven year old Teddy onto Platform 9 ¾. Teddy looked nervous and Harry laid a gentle hand on his shoulder.
Harry looked at his son in concern. "What's wrong?"
Teddy steadied himself. "I…I don't want to leave you guys."
Harry smiled and drew him into a hug. "It will be Christmas before you know it and if you still don't want to be there then, we will talk about it with your Mum and Gran. I know it's a little scary leaving home for the first time but your brothers and sister will start joining you in two more years."
"I know but what if…"
"You have nothing to worry about. Just be yourself and make some friends. There are good people here too."
Teddy snorted. "Yeah, if that's so, how come you still live away from here?"
Harry chuckled. "You know the answer to that and luckily, you shouldn't have the same problems as Jamie will in two years. I hope by that time, you will be in a position to protect him."
Teddy nodded. "You're right. But…I'm going to miss you."
Harry hugged him again. "Not as much as we will miss you my son. Go make some friends and try to have some fun."
Teddy released Harry's hug and moved to Andi. He placed a kiss on her cheek and she returned it with one on his forehead. They watched as he got on the train to begin his own adventure. Andi wrapped her arm around Harry's and smiled. She knew Harry was just as nervous as Teddy about this.
She leaned over. "Have I ever told you that you're a good dad? Remus would be proud of you and how you have raised his son."
Harry smiled. "I hope so but you know as well as I do that if it hadn't been for you and Susan…I would've probably been as irresponsible as Sirius."
She smiled. "A good woman will do that for you. You bring out the best in each other."
Harry could only nod as his thoughts drifted to his wife who elected to stay in Norway with the kids. As the train pulled out of the station, several people finally noticed who was standing there and tried to make their way over to him. Just as they were getting close, Harry tightened his grip on Andi's arm and activated their portkey back to Norway.
Susan wrote and conversed with Minerva several times over the term and relayed Harry's nervousness at being on the platform. It took some threats and some concessions but they eventually came to an agreement. Minerva would make a special exception for the Potter children by allowing them to portkey to and from their home for the Christmas breaks and at the end of the school years so that Harry would not have to be on the platform any more than necessary. Their concession was that as long as she would allow this, the Potter children would be educated at Hogwarts.
Minerva really wanted time with her adoptive grandchildren and would do almost anything to insure they were there with her. Unknown to those close to her in England, they never knew that when she left to go visit 'family' on her summer breaks, she was really traveling to Fiji to spend time with the Potter family and was quite close with them. Even she knew she would give in since the alternative of Harry having his children educated in Australia was not an option for her. The only thing she would not relent on was the opening ride to Hogwarts as that was as much a rite of passage as the sorting hat. They begrudgingly agreed even though Harry's first experience on the train didn't turn out so well for him in the end.
Minerva was assured of her decision when she made it a point to go to the platform once the children had arrived for the start of the Christmas holidays. It was evident that word had spread after the September sighting and the crowd waiting there was immense. She shook her head at two of the people who seemed the most anxious and had no reason to be on the platform yet. Hermione Granger, now Weasley, was one of her best students and greatest disappointments.
Two years later, the entire Potter family walked onto platform 9 ¾ and chuckled as everyone came to a dead stop and stared. Harry walked beside his sons Jamie and Teddy as they pushed a trolley holding two trunks. In Harry's arms was two year old Lily who was looking around at all the strange people. Her blond hair was just swinging side to side as she sang a little song. Susan laughed at her youngest child's antics and focused on that instead of the confrontation that was sure to take place.
She had no reason to fear for any of her family but the fact that Harry put on his wrist wand holder and secured the elder wand there for the first time in years was a little disconcerting for her. If there was a problem, then she knew the safest place for her and her family was by her husband's side as he had only gotten better over the years. If it came to it, her oldest two sons were no slouches either having learned from their father. It helped that there were no monitoring wards in Fiji which allowed them to teach their children from a young age. The lessons were obviously working as Teddy has held the top student position for his age group for both years so far.
If there was one thing both Susan and Harry were thankful for is that their sons took after Harry while their daughters took after Susan. Even Teddy had decided to honor his parents (the couple that had raised him) as he kept his hair morphed black most of the time and took on the pale blue color of Susan's eyes.
Sirius and Gabriel were beside their mother as she held four year old Amy on her hip. As they took in the platform and the people standing there with their mouths hanging open, they shared a knowing look and smile at how time had been unkind to many of their schoolmates. Most were pale and getting pudgy while they allowed magic to do everything for them as they lived in the lazy magical society.
Harry and Susan, along with their family, were deeply tanned and as fit as they were after six months away from England. Both had an air of vitality and power that left many of the wizards and witches on the platform jealous. While normal thirty year old parents tended to dress more conservatively in the wizarding world, Harry strolled onto the platform in tight jeans and a polo shirt which showed off his well defined muscles. His lack of glasses and messy hair caught a lot of attention and made Susan laugh.
She moved over beside him and whispered. "The fan girls are drooling once again."
Harry took a quick look around and laughed. "That may be but if you look around you, you have fan boys of your own."
She laughed at hic comment and kissed his cheek. "There's no way they would ever measure up my love."
She was dressed in high heels with a mini skirt and tight low cut top which did nothing to hide her assets. Most would consider it a slutty look but she dressed that way just to show the others that they would never stand a chance with her husband. He leaned over. "You do look so hot Sue. I don't know if I'll be able to keep my hands off you."
She laughed at him and grabbed his hand. "You see me in much less everyday."
She stood on her tip toes and kissed his cheek. "Well Mister, you're just going to have to wait until the kids are asleep since there's no one here I would even think about trusting them with except mum."
"I know and promise me one thing sweetheart."
"The first sign of problems, they are out of there fast."
"Agreed, I don't want any of them to go through what you had to and Aunt Minnie will keep us informed. She is their adoptive grandmother after all. Did you know she told me this summer that the only reason she hasn't retired was so that she would get them to herself for the next few years?"
Their conversation died when they noticed the kids fidgeting. They set out again down the platform and the conversations they were sure to be having. Several people stepped out and blocked their path. Hermione was the first to break ranks and rush to give them a hug. She frowned when she wasn't allowed to give them one of her real hugs and was relegated to one of those side to side, one armed ones that were done to be polite.
"Oh Harry…we've missed you so much. You two look great. It's been what…eleven years?"
Susan coldly replied "More like twelve."
Hermione ignored the tone of Susan's voice. "Well, thank god the girls both look like you Susan."
Harry gave her a polite smile. "Yeah, we're pretty happy about that too."
Her face turned demanding like it had in their younger years. "Well introduce us all." She turned to Lily and held out her hands. "May I?"
Lily shied away from Hermione's arms and snuggled in closer to Harry causing a slight frown to appear on her face. He then laid his hand on Teddy's shoulder and then rubbed the heads of each of his sons as he introduced them. "This is my son Teddy along with his brothers Jamie and then Sirius and then Gabriel. As for our daughters, Susan is holding Amy while I have Princess Lily in my arms."
Lily let out a giggle and snuggled even closer into Harry's arms.
Hermione couldn't help but notice the rebuke in Harry's voice when he introduced Teddy. She stood in front of him. "Hello everyone…especially you Teddy. Did you know that I'm your godmother?"
Teddy snorted and then looked to his dad. Harry gave him a slight nod. "Um…well I knew you were once my godmother but Gran switched it to Mum since you never showed any interest in me."
Hermione huffed. "That's not true! I searched for you for a long time."
Harry chuckled. "That's funny as we or he never received a letter from you. You just never really made the effort did you? Well it doesn't matter anyway, Teddy will never have your influence in his life unless he so chooses."
Hermione glared at him but knew she was in the wrong and had been caught in a lie. As she grew quiet, Ron spoke up "I don't see how you could expect her to take care of someone else's kid."
Harry shook his head. "And I don't know why I expected you to grow out of the selfish child you were when we were still friends. Tell me Weasley, does Hermione still have to work to put food on the table since you are too lazy to get a job? Those are the very reasons why neither of you were considered as godparents for any of our children."
Hermione asked "Who are their godparents Harry?"
Susan spoke up. "Well obviously Andi would have custody of them but we chose to place that honor upon someone we trust more than anyone else in the magical world. Lord Ragnok of Gringotts."
Ron gasped. "You chose a Goblin over your friends?"
Harry shook his head again. "The only people I consider friends from that life came with me with the exception of Minerva."
Hermione's hand went to her mouth. "She knew where you were this whole time? She lied to us?"
Harry smirked. "Of course she did. None of you had any rights to know where I was. You made that very clear on the night of the final battle."
Ron said. "But we wanted to make things right between us."
Harry growled. "What about making things right within your own families? As you well know, I lost my parents when I was a baby and then you just throw yours away like they no longer matter. I have some friends in the Australian Ministry and they told me that Hermione never returned for her parents."
Ron said. "They were muggles. They don't matter."
Harry shot him a glare. "My friends in Australia began a search and found the Wilkins. Once they notified me, I flew to Perth and made my way to the town they settled in. I returned their memories but couldn't answer why their daughter never came back for them. At first I thought that something had happened but once I did some checking, I realized that you didn't want them back because you had their nice house here in England and didn't have to pay a Knut for it. I can say that they were heartbroken that their daughter didn't care enough about them to at least give them a choice whether to return or not. By the way, they are happy in their life there now. I reimbursed them for the house here as a way of paying them back for what they had lost. I thought it was because of me that they were not living the life they had earned. I gave them the money so that they could go back to the comfort level they had worked so hard for before it was stolen from them."
Ron said. "You had no right to interfere in our lives."
Harry growled. "I didn't interfere in your lives Weasley and I had every right to correct a grievous wrong that was done in my name. The sad thing is that it may have started out that way but after the two of you got together, I think that Ron convinced you to see things his way. I knew that Ron was capable of throwing people to the side when it suited him but I would have never thought it of you Hermione. It helped me to come to terms with so many things and made me glad that I never expressed my feelings for you at the time."
Hermione stood there dumbfounded as Harry continued. "It also allowed me to move on and get on with my life so in a way, I should probably say thank you for causing me to open my eyes and see the one person who was there for me."
Susan pulled him into a hug and when she released it, she turned her glare on them. "If you had really wanted to make things right, why didn't you ever write? The truth is you didn't. You were too cowardly to admit you were wrong. No, all you wanted to do was ride his coat tails like you did in school. I find it funny that the infamous Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger's stars faded quickly without Harry Potter around. By the way, you've both been in entry level positions for how many years? Well, that is when Ron actually has a job. It took his leaving after you turned your back on him for you to realize what I've known all along. Without Harry, you are nothing."
Harry said "Sue…that's enough. I may not want to be friends with them again but I never intended for this to play out here and in front of the kids and everyone else."
Susan blushed. "You're right. I'm sorry Harry and you too Mr. and Mrs. Weasley."
The Weasleys flinched at the lack of familiarity Susan was showing them now.
It wasn't long before Hannah Abbott-Goldstein finally made her way over. "Susie, it's so good to see you again. How do you still look so good after having five kids?"
Harry proudly said "She works very hard at it."
Susan smiled at her husband and kissed him for his praise. "Not as hard as we did those first six months. We do continue to work out some but I do it because I couldn't bear being anything but perfect for my perfect husband. Not only that but Harry and I use very little magic anymore and stay fit by exercising and playing with the kids all day. We learned a long time ago that if you rely on magic too much, you become fat and lazy."
Several people around them blushed.
Ron scoffed "Well not all of us are millionaires who don't have to work."
Harry chuckled. "Don't even go there Weasley. There was a time when you could make me feel guilty about my family's fortune but not anymore. We are what we make of ourselves and even if it had been you instead of me, I would probably still have more than you due to the fact that you only care about yourself and have no self control."
Andi started laughing. Susan turned and asked. "What's so funny Mum?"
She got her laughing under control and said "I'm sorry. Harry preaching about self control is just too…"
Harry indignantly said "Hey, I have tons of self control."
"I'm sorry son. Yes you do until Susie slips on one of her bikini bottoms and then all bets are off."
Both Harry and Susan blushed.
Ron stuttered "I didn't mean anything…"
Harry frowned. "Weasley, not that I have to account for myself to you but the only thing we have ever spent any money on has been our homes and even then, we talked for a long time about it and had Andi weigh in with her opinion. We want to leave a legacy for our kids and even their kids and even though our investments are doing well, they won't ever give our family complete financial freedom. We do not live lavish lives by any means and quite frankly, I think all of us are the better for it. Our children have been raised to not find happiness in material things but in the things that matter most like love and family even though they know that Susan and I would never deny them anything."
Andi laid her hand on Harry's arm. "What my son is trying to tell you Mr. Weasley is that you may not have taken your father's lessons to heart but he did. He watched as your father's example showed him that money was never as important as family. You hated working in the garden and tending to the chickens because you never got the message and only saw it as being poor when you were one of the richest families in his eyes because of what you did have. What we don't catch in the sea, we grow in our garden. We do have chickens but that is the only meat we ever eat and the children are right there beside the rest of us as we take care of the one thing that is most important. Our family."
Ron blushed she pointed out his faults. Hermione glanced at her own children when she realized that she had not taken the lesson to heart that Arthur had shown and followed her husband's lead. It made her wonder if her own children knew how much she loved them when they had not made family a priority.
The tension was broke when Hannah said "Well…you both look great!"
Harry gave her a smile in thanks. "Thanks Hannah. I think Susan looks as hot as the day I married her."
Susan laughed "I don't know whether to feel complimented or insulted since I was eight months pregnant when you finally bonded with me." She pulled him into a passionate kiss in front of everyone on the platform.
Jamie rolled his eyes and said "Here they go again. It'd be nice to have normal parents."
Hermione shook her head and looked sadly at Ron. "I don't know Jamie. At least you know your parents are in love with each other. I used to think that way about mine since they were the same way but now I know that they truly were perfect for each other."
Harry said "Well Susan has been the best thing that ever happened to me."
Susan beamed. "We've been good for each other honey."
It was then that they were interrupted by very pregnant Ginny Longbottom waddling up to them. She was dragging three little ones behind her along while another pushed a trolley. It didn't go unnoticed that she looked just like Molly at this point.
"Hello Mrs. Longbottom."
"Don't hello me Harry Potter. You left me and look what I've become." She looked at Susan and then said "That should be me."
Harry snorted. "No I don't think so since you made your choice long ago. Besides, Susan actually puts in the work to look like this."
Ginny huffed and stormed away.
"Just like Molly that one is."
"Sorry Ron but the truth hurts sometimes."
After a few minutes of silence, Hermione asked "So, are you two moving back?"
"No. We are only using this opportunity to take care of some business here for the next week before we take a portkey home."
Hermione brightened. "Since you are going to be here for the next week, could we have dinner together? Molly would love to see you."
Harry frowned. "I don't think that would be a good idea Mrs. Weasley. I distinctly remember the last conversation I had with your family and I never want to go through that again."
"But Harry…she was speaking out of her grief. She didn't mean it. When she realized what she had done, she broke down again. It would mean so much if she could see you."
Harry started to say something but Susan beat him to it. "No mean no Mrs. Weasley. It took me a long time to help my husband to recover from that night and I refuse to allow you or your family to harm him again. You all had your chances but never even tried to apologize or atone for what you did. We weren't under any mail wards so you could have contacted us anytime within the last twelve years."
Susan grabbed Harry's hand and led their family away from the others. Harry knelt down to talk to Teddy and Jamie. "Look out for each other as you always have. Jamie, listen to your brother and if you have any problems, go see Aunt Minnie."
They both replied "We will Dad."
"Okay, give out hugs and then get on board and never forget the family motto."
Both boys began to chuckle as Susan hissed at him. "Harry, be nice."
Curious, Andi asked "And just what is the family motto this year?"
Teddy turned to her and said "Avoid exposure to the red weasels."
Andi chuckled "Isn't that supposed to be measles?"
Harry smiled. "Nah…the red weasel virus is much more dangerous and can lead to serious mental damage if exposure is not limited. There is no vaccination for it so it is best to avoid it at all cost."
Harry quietly said "Amen to that!"