"Um. okay." Muttered Harry, not quite comfortable with everyone staring at him for one reason or another.

He looked up and saw that Flint kid still standing in the doorway, obviously having just overheard the comments that Albus had made, since he became a few shades paler than when Harry had glanced at him a moment or two earlier.

"I hope you got a good look, Flint. I suggest you take my advice on leaving my family alone!" He bellowed, not caring what anyone thought towards his caustic comments.

Evan's eyes widened fractionally just before he turned and bolted down the corridor. Draco only shook his head sadly at the retreating form of Mr. Flint before walking up to greet Harry and the gathered crowd.

"I was going to come talk to you about Mr. Flint's allegations that you attacked him, but as I can see it's lower on his priority list than staying away from you." He said, while smirking in a.. well, not threatening, yet not friendly smirk.

Harry's only response was to shrug. He slung the towel over his shoulders while stating; "He shouldn't be terrorizing my family. He ought to know that anyone who threatens my only daughter has nothing but pain in their near future."

Draco smirked even more. "Good, I hope you put that ignorant prat in his place. I hate to admit it, being in my own house and all, but that kid has the worst qualities of a Slytherin I have ever seen."

Harry smiled, but all of a sudden began to feel faint. His knees gave out on him, and if Hermione hadn't been right behind him catching him, he would have hit the floor.

"Oh, dear," Albus sighed. "I am so sorry Harry, it slipped my mind that you were still recovering. All of that physical and magical exertion must have really taken its toll. Ms. Granger, Ms Potter, would you please help me get Mr. Potter back to the Hospital wing?"

"Albus," Harry growled out from where he was now positioned with an arm over each of his family member's shoulders, "If you make me spend one more night in that hospital wing I swear I will obliterate at least one, if not two of the castle towers."

Albus didn't even flinch. He just kept smiling that damned insane smile that never seemed to leave his face and replied "Well then, I am sure other accommodations can be arranged. Is Gryffindor tower okay by you?"

"No." Harry said while shaking his head. He looked up at his bride-to-be- someday and asked "Can you take me home? I want to spend some time with you."

Hermione grinned though her wet eyes. Harry hadn't said 'Can you take me to where you live' or 'can you take me to YOUR home.' He asked to take him home, as though where ever 'Mione hung her hat, that was his home. He never referred to the Dursley's as his home, and the Burrow was the 'home- away-from-home, but up until now, Hogwarts was his home. Until now.

"Of course, love. May we use your office floo, headmaster?"

Albus nodded, a sorrowful expression entering his visage. He hadn't expected Harry to want to leave the castle he had called home, but at the same time could understand his need for some peace and quiet. A castle of over two thousand gawking teenagers could become very tiresome indeed.

The foursome made their way to the Headmaster's office, in relative silence. Albus was silent because he was pondering just why Harry leaving so soon is making him so upset. Lily, because she was upset that her Dad (whom she hadn't really gotten a chance to know yet) was going away. Mione was contemplating how to show Harry the house, and how to get a third bedroom set-up by tonight for him to sleep in, and Harry didn't have the energy to do more than try to walk.

As the fire roared green in the office, Lily hugged her father for all she was worth.

"Lily, relax, you are coming home for christmas break, right?" At her reluctant nod, he continued. "I'll see you then, and we can start on your training. Well, the non-magical aspects anyway. I just want to spend some time alone with your mother for a bit, okay?" Lily nodded again, and whispered; "I love you, Dad."

"I love you too, kiddo."

He turned towards Albus. "Can I re-enroll after the Christmas break, Professor? I still haven't completed my NEWTs, you know."

Albus visibly brightened up. His son was coming back!... wait.. his son? When did he start thinking that? Having no children of his own, he had realized that he thought of all the students at the school as a surrogate family, but with Harry it was always.. Different. Like a true son. He understood, now, why he was so happy to get him back, and why it hurt him so to see him leave. "Of course, Harry. After all, we still have to train you with your new ability as well, do we not?"

Harry grimaced. There went any free time he may have had. "Of course, sir. Shall we 'Mione?"

Hermione smiled and stepped into the fire, pulling Harry into it as well. She shouted out, very clearly, "The Lightning Palace" before the twosome vanished in a swirl of ash and green flame.

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Harry and Hermione stepped out of the fireplace, patting the soot off of their clothing and coughing. Harry was muttering under his breath the evils of floo travel while his fiancée merely giggled at him. "So," Hermione began, "what do you want to do first?"

Harry contemplated for a moment. "Well, I'd really like to shag you into tomorrow." 'Mione's lips parted, speechless, as she blushed a deep crimson color, "but as I am ready to fall down and sleep where I stand, perhaps we should just send a note off to Molly telling her what happened and then relax and have some dinner?"

Hermione recovered her wits pretty quickly. "Sure Harry. Why don't you go to my office and write the note out. My owl, Mercury, is in there. I'll get started on some dinner while you do that. Does that sound okay?" she ventured, knowing how annoying she can be when she goes into one of her 'bossy' modes.

"You're making dinner? Why not the house elves? I am sure these manors come with them."

"Harry James Potter. Do you honestly think I would allow slave labor in my own home?"

"So you must have a maid then, right? This place is spotless, and it would take you all day to clean it yourself, an impossible task if you work at home like Lily said you do."

Hermione looked around the floo entry room with a confused look on her face, as if noticing details for the first time. Ever since she bought the Manor, it had just always been clean. She thought it was self-cleaning, but there aren't any charms developed to do that. It would put the house- elves out of work, and every spell-maker was wealthy enough to have at least one house-elf, so the need wasn't ever there.

"I don't know Harry. We'll figure it out later. Go on, write your letter, and we'll discuss it over dinner, okay?"

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Dear Mum and Dad,

I just wanted to write you to tell you what is going on. I am now at home with 'Mione, and am going to stay here until the start of next term, where I will be taking my newts at Hogwarts. Wish me luck! I probably won't need it, though. I mean, I am spending the break with my fiancée, who just happens to be the smartest witch or wizard I have ever met. (Albus may be wise, but Hermione is far more brilliant. Just don't tell him I said that!) I was wondering if we could have that family get- together the day after Christmas break starts so that Lily can come as well.

All my Love,


Harry attached the letter to 'Mercury's' leg, asked very politely for him to take it to Molly and Arthur Weasley, and went downstairs to try and stomach 'Mione's cooking. Last he had it, the food almost killed him. 'Here's hoping she learned how to cook while I was gone' he thought to himself.