Chapter 43 – Waking

Harry woke up and was relieved to smell the usual disinfectant that indicated he was back in the infirmary. Reaching out an arm he managed to hit the bedside table and his fingers scrabbled to find a pair of glasses. He finally managed to get a purchase on the pair that was there and slowly pulled them back. Placing them on his nose was difficult as his hand and eye coordination didn't seem to be working. Finally Harry could see and looked around the room.

Harry noticed he was in a private room, with a bedside cabinet, chair and small chest of drawers all in white. Two windows showed he was in a small tower and each window had white curtains that had been opened. One of the windows was open and Harry could hear birds singing outside. Looking down at himself, Harry discovered he was wearing a pair of pyjamas he had never seen before, but had probably been Ron's at one stage as they had the Chudley Cannons on them. The bedcovers were white as well and on top of them was a red father. Harry slowly reached out and after a few attempts managed to pick up the feather and smooth it out.

'Fawkes.' Harry whispered, his voice hoarse. Harry turned back to the bedside table and saw a glass of water. He carefully picked it up and took a sip from it. Shaking from the exertion, Harry put the glass back down, almost dropping it onto the floor.

Breathing heavily, Harry leant back against the pillows and looked more closely at his surroundings. Over the back of the chair was thrown a brown robe and a small cushion was lying on the floor beside it. Looking at Fawkes' feather Harry absently scratched his chest and then stopped. He pulled back the pyjama top to look at a bare chest with no heart monitor, which caused Harry to smile.

After dozing for a few minutes Harry was jolted awake by the urgent warning to get down to the Entrance Hall. Not wanting to ignore a warning that could mean somebody was in danger, Harry slowly dropped his legs over the side of the bed wincing at the pain that shot down his left leg. Pushing himself up Harry stood up and then dropped to the floor.

'Ow.' Harry said calmly. Looking around him for anything that could help him pull himself up, Harry sighed and pointed his hand at the chair, summoning it closer. Once it was in range Harry pulled himself up till he was sitting in the chair and looked at his left leg. Harry tried to lift it up and only got a painful twinge in response.

That is not a good sign, Harry thought.

The urgent warning became more imperative, so Harry pushed himself up making sure not to put any weight on his left leg and, using the wall as a support, hobbled out of his room. In the ward Harry noticed many beds were unmade, with robes lying around the place, even cups of tea still half full.

Hopping, Harry made it to the stairs and, after wiping the sweat off his brow, took hold of the banister and managed to hop down the stairs. At the bottom Harry turned into Madam Pomfrey's office and seeing a walking cane grabbed it and found that walking became a lot easier with the cane making up for the loss of the left leg. Just as Harry was about to leave the office he saw his wand sitting on the side by his heart monitor and smiling picked it up and tucked it in the waist band of his pyjamas.

Harry followed the warning and made his way steadily to the Entrance Hall. The closer he got the louder the voices he could hear. It sounded as though there was a large argument going on. Silencing the tip of the cane so it didn't make thudding noises he crept forward until he could see the Entrance Hall and stood still.

Below he was shocked to see the Minister, several of her close advisors, Percy Weasley, several Aurors and three Healers standing in front of the main doors. At the bottom of the stairs refusing to let them pass were Dumbledore, Poppy, Minerva, Filius, Lupin, Arthur, Molly who was carrying a bundle of blankets, all of the Weasley children, omitting Percy, Hermione and quite a few other students. Draco was standing off to one side looking faintly amused as well as faintly worried.

'Headmaster Dumbledore, you must want the best treatment for Mr Potter, the Healers at St Mungo's can provide that care.' Umbridge titters.

'My treatment is better then the care at St Mungo's.' Poppy says indignantly.

'Poppy, I'm sure the Minister isn't insulting the sole Healer who is in charge of all students here at Hogwarts. I'm sure she has Harry's care as her top priority.'

'Of course Headmaster. We wouldn't want the Chosen One to be injured.'

'Of course not. I assure you that Harry is receiving the best of care and is guarded around the clock.'

'Headmaster, Mr Potter is going to be taken to St Mungo's and be put under the care of Healer Sinclair.' Umbridge moved her hand and indicated a tall thin man, with grey eyes, short grey streaked hair and wearing a tailored grey suit with a white Healer robe over the top. 'He is an expert in the cases of mentally ill patients.'

'Harry is not insane!' Poppy screeches. 'He is just sleeping to recover.' Healer Sinclair gracefully stepped forward.

'Healer Pomfrey, I understand your… affection for Mr Potter and I will do everything in my power to give him the same excellent care that he has received under you. Unfortunately Mr Potter is likely never to recover and it is my department that will take care of Mr Potter as his body deteriorates.'

A slap echoed around the hall, as Molly swelled with indignation.

'You are not taking my son anywhere!' Molly stated her voice hard. Umbridge tittered.

'I'm afraid, dear madam, that you are not Harry Potter's mother nor are you his guardians. His guardians have signed a consent form to have him taken into care.' Umbridge pulled out a piece of parchment. Dumbledore held out his hand and the piece of parchment was reluctantly put into his hand. He looked it over through his spectacles and smiled when he had finished.

'I see Mr Dursley and his wife have signed this parchment.'

'Yes. Therefore you have no ground on which to keep Mr Potter here.'

'Yes in the muggle world they are his guardians, but in the magical world he has a guardian also. I see I haven't signed the form.' Umbridge tittered again. Harry felt like smacking her smirk off her face.

'Mr Potter is only under your care if a Healer doesn't over rule your authroity. You must remember Headmaster, the 1897 law passed to allow Healers to take children away from thier parents if there was cause for concern.' Healer Sinclair stepped forward.

'I can insist Mr Potter be transferred into my care. He will recieve full care and therapy.'

'But I am sure you believe that Madam Pomfrey is the best Healer for him.' Dumbledore says.

'I assure you I do not! I believe Madam Pomfrey is incapable of looking after Mr Potter correctly in his fragile state.' This statement brought about absolute silence. The students standing guard on the stairs started yelling insults at the Healer and sticking up for Harry.

At the top of the stairs in his hidden perch Harry smiled at the people sticking up for him, but he decided before Madam Pomfrey curses Healer Sinclair he had better step forward.

'It is a good job then that my fragile state has been greatly exaggerated.' The Entrance Hall fell into silence before turning quickly to see Harry striding down the first few steps using a cane and smiling.

'Harry?' Hermione asked shocked.

'Harry!' Molly screeched before she rushed past everybody and ran up the steps and hugged Harry tightly. A small wail grabbed Harry's attention.

'What's that?' Molly pulled back and moved the bundle in her arms and Harry saw a face appear scrunched up ready to cry. Harry started to grin and reached out to stroke James' cheek. 'Hey, shhhh. There, there. You don't want to cry.' Harry grinned back up at Molly. 'He's so small.' Harry said taking James' hand and letting James grasp a finger. James opened his eyes and instead of crying looked directly at Harry. 'Hello there James. I'm Harry. I'm going to be your Godfather. I'm going to be buying you racing brooms before you can walk and so many toys you have to have a second bedroom for them all.'

'Harry Potter, James will not be getting on a racing broom until he is at least 5 years old.' Hermione scolds hitting Harry on his arm.

Ron comes out of his surprised trance and races up the stairs to Harry. Before Ron gets the chance to hug Harry, Hermione and Ginny hug him together. Hermione buries her head in his chest and Ginny just holds on tightly. 'Hey you two move aside. I want a hug too.' Harry wriggles an arm free and holds it out. Ron grins and hugs Harry around Ginny. The students start cheering which brings out more students from the Great Hall.

'Harry!' Seamus yells rushing over to Harry and almost toppling them over before Harry can get his balance back. Seamus looks down. 'What's with the stick?'

'Bad leg.'

'Oh. Come on, come sit down. You haven't had lunch yet have you?' Harry shakes his head. 'Come on then.' Seamus puts his arm around Harry's shoulder and then leads him towards the Great Hall. They get two paces when Madam Pomfrey appears in front of them.

'Let me have a look at your leg Harry.' Harry sighs and pulls himself away from Seamus.

'Sorry Seamus. I think I'm going to be locked away in the infirmary for a while.'

'We'll come with you then.' Seamus says nodding at Dean. The cross their arms together and then lean down behind Harry. 'Sit down then.' Bemused Harry sits down and they lift him up and carry him up the staircase.

Everybody who was in the Entrance Hall follows Seamus, Dean and Harry up the stairs to the infirmary.

Back in his private room Harry is dumped on his bed by Seamus and Dean who are then kicked out of the room to allow Madam Pomfrey to work. Healer Sinclair and Umbridge force their way inside along with McGonagall, Dumbledore and Snape. Madam Pomfrey fluffs up Harry's pillows and helps him lean against them. She takes his cane away and leans it against the bedside table in reaching distance of Harry, before she pulls out her wand and starts scanning him. Harry lies there placidly and accepts the scans.

'Is there any pain Harry?' Madam Pomfrey asks.

'There is pain in my leg when I try and move it or put weight on it.'

'You were under the Crutatcius Curse for a long time. It has probably caused some nerve damage.' McGonagall says.

'Lie down Harry, on your front and I will check your spine and legs over.' Harry wiggles his way down the bed, which is made difficult by the fact that he can't move his left leg, but he does manage to turn onto his stomach. Madam Pomfrey taps his pyjama top with her wand and it disappears.

'Hey! It's cold in here.' Harry moans.

'It won't be long Harry.' Poppy soothes tapping her wand against his spine which causes his right leg to twitch. Poppy tapes his spine again and nothing happens. Healer Sinclair comes over frowning.

'Let me perform that test. You are obviously doing it wrong.' He then pushes Poppy out of the way and performs the two tests but with the same results. Harry mumbles some unpleasant words. Poppy smacks the back of his head.

'Stop cursing, it won't be for long Harry.' Harry sighs and buries his red face in a pillow. He yelps when he feels his pyjama bottoms disappear but Poppy pushes his back down into the bed telling him not to move. Harry feels the blanket moved to cover his waist and bottom. Poppy then taps down his right leg which keeps on twitching.

'Will you stop that? It's irritating.' Harry says his voice muffled by the pillow. After Poppy had finished on his right leg Healer Sinclair did the same tests to Harry's irritation. He cannot help but let out a small growl which makes Dumbledore chuckle.

'Now your left leg Harry.' Poppy says before tapping her wand on the leg. No twitching happens. Healer Sinclair performs the same tests and he and Poppy share a look above Harry.

'What is the problem Poppy?' Dumbledore asks. Harry looks up from his pillow and twists around slightly wincing.

'What's wrong and how many yucky potions will it take to heal it?'

'I'm afraid Mr Potter you have destroyed the main Sciatic Nerve that runs down your left leg.' Healer Sinclair says. Harry turns his head so he can see the male healer.

'I want to hear it from a Healer who doesn't want to lock me away.' Harry sneers and turns back to Poppy. He finds Poppy with tears in her eyes. 'He's right isn't he?' Harry asks. Poppy nods. Minerva gasps at the foot of the bed.

'There is no cure for it Harry. I'm sorry. I performed as many tests as I could but with you unconscious it was difficult to interpret the results.' Harry nods and twists around, making sure the sheet is still covering his middle section.

'Mr Potter, let me offer my condolences of your permanent injury, when I know you wanted a career as an Auror at the Ministry.' Umbridge smiles. Harry ignores her and turns to look at Dumbledore, who is not twinkling anymore.

'Well at least I wont be able to run into trouble anymore sir. I'll have to walk into it instead.' Harry jokes causing Dumbledore to smile. 'Poppy could I have my pyjamas back so I can go and see my friends. I believe we are leaving to go home in a few days and I want to spend some time with them.'

'It's Friday already. The train leaves tomorrow morning.' Harry looks gob smacked at Dumbledore as Poppy taps his torso and legs causing his pyjamas to appear.

'Well I'd better get out there and get socialising.' Harry grabs his cane, manoeuvres his left leg off the bed and stands up, hobbling out of the room to a cheer from the ward.

'Will you join us for lunch Minister Umbridge?' Dumbledore asks smiling.

'I would Headmaster but I have important work to do at the Ministry.'

'I understand Minister. Healer Sinclair are you able to stay for lunch, your colleagues are welcome to stay as well.'

'I will stay, I wish to talk with Madam Pomfrey on techniques that Mr Potter could use to try and improve his mobility.' Madam Pomfrey frowns and growls imitating Harry.

'I am capable of devising exercises for Mr Potter by myself.'

'I am not suggesting your capabilities are questionable, but it has been a long time since you worked in St Mungo's. Not many students end up with permanent injuries where as I see these sort of injuries on a regular basis.' Dumbledore chuckles.

'I'm sure Madam Pomfrey will be delighted to have you stay for lunch.' Dumbledore twinkles before leaving the small room closely followed by a chuckling McGonagall. Snape sneers at Healer Sinclair and leaves the room, with Madam Pomfrey hot on his heals.

Harry managed to eat lunch in the Great Hall, surrounded by friends each chattering and talking, yelling across the room to other friends and generally being happy to see Harry back. When Harry has a minute to himself he turns and looks at Ron and Hermione who had been sitting quietly in the background.

'How has Draco been? Have you cursed him yet?'

'Nah, Harry. He's been sleeping in your bed and pinching your clothes.'

'Has he touched my dragon hide boots?' Harry asks. 'If he has I may have to hex him.' Harry says cheerfully.

'Speaking of the ferret.' Ron says as Draco comes over.

'Hi.' Harry pulls himself up and looks closely at Draco.

'That suit looks good on you.' Harry says indicating his Versace suit beneath one of his dark green robes. Harry looks under the table and the looks back at Draco. 'So do my dragon hide boots. I hope you don't plan on keeping those boots. They're my favourite and you'd have to fight me for them.'

'These old things. They went out of fashion years ago. I'm only wearing them as they are the newest shoes in your trunk.' Draco smiles, joking back.

'Has Hermione been nagging?' Draco shakes his head causing Harry to laugh. 'Now I know you are lying.' Draco smiles wider and Hermione playfully hits Harry on the arm. Harry suddenly turns serious. 'Have you got somewhere to stay this holiday?'

'Yes. The Headmaster is sending me to live with Longbottom and his grandmother.' Harry's grin widens and he turns to the opposite side of the table.

'Neville I hear you have a house guest this summer.' Neville nods and looks sceptically at Harry knowing that when he is grinning nothing good is going to come of it. 'You need to show him the greenhouses you have. I know he loves gardening.' Neville nods and looks at Draco's pouting face. Harry turns back and faces Draco. 'Go on Draco tell Neville you want to help in his gardens this holiday.'

Draco smiles grimly and nods.

'Longbottom, I would love to help you in your gardens this holiday. I know you are the best student in the school at Herbology and I could learn a lot from you.'

Damn my strict upbringing, Draco thought. I'd love to kill Potter at this moment.

Neville blushes and thanks him and even though Draco is on the other side of the table begins to question him on plants he has come across outside of Herbology classes.

Harry finally manages to finish a small lunch and heads back up to the infirmary where Poppy is waiting to tie him to the bed. After much fussing and smoothing of blankets Harry finally takes her hands and stops her messing.

'I'm okay Poppy.'

'I know.' Poppy smiles.

'You're upset. I am fine.'

'I don't believe I missed this damage. If I had caught it you wouldn't be nearly paralysed in your left leg.'

'Poppy I'm very grateful. I didn't think I would come out of Tom's house alive let alone fully sane and with, compared to death, a minor injury.' Harry tries to assure her.

'You won't be able to be an Auror now. I know it is what you really wanted to do.'

'I can change my mind. I could teach Defence. Dumbledore could probably do with a decent Defence Professor.' Harry smiles. 'I could even start my own business I have enough money or…' Harry leans close as though in conspiracy. 'I could write my memoirs and never work.' Poppy smiles sadly but nods. 'Now what troublesome exercises are you going to make me do?' Poppy really smiles and Harry groans.

It was just before dinner when Harry was released from the infirmary after a full check up on his body and a full mental check up. Instead of going straight to the Great Hall he made his way down to the Slytherin section of the dungeons and into Snapes office. Severus was sitting waiting for Harry to come down.

'Hi.' Harry says when he enters the classroom closing the door manually behind him.

'There's magic for that.' Harry just smiles and sits down on a low stool. 'How's your leg?'

'Painful but I can deal with it. It's a lot better then ending up like Lockhart.'

'I agree. I'm sorry I couldn't help you.'

'It doesn't matter, I could barely focus on Draco let alone everybody else in that room. I wouldn't have recognised you if I had seen you.'

'Do you feel able to go back to your aunt and uncles this summer?'

'I have to go back. You have that mission for Tom you have to do that takes up the first month of the holidays and Albus has told me I have to go.'

'I could not go.' Harry looks sharply at Severus.

'You are the one who insisted this was a very important mission. You are being sent to remote areas of the globe collecting rare ingredients. Even if it wasn't Tom sending you, you would love to go!'

'I… I care for what happens to you Harry. If you do not feel safe at your aunt and uncles now that they signed you to be committed to St Mungo's I will give up my spying and invite you back to mine tomorrow. You are far more important then any information I might get.' Harry smiles.

'I seem to be reassuring a lot of people today. But I am fine, I will go back to my aunt and uncles and on my 17th birthday I will arrive, safe at Hogwarts, to wait for you.' Harry stands up and hobbles towards Severus. 'You Severus are going to go on this expedition this evening to collect the ingredients Tom wants and sneak as much back as you can for your own personal stores. It will save me going through… not so clean channels to get them for your Christmas and Birthday presents.' Harry smiles.

Severus snorts indelicately and looks embarrassed. Harry just grins, pleased with the effect he is finally having on Severus.

'I'm glad I stopped the Chosen One from having to degrade himself by dealing with black market wizards.'

'I make the twins do it actually. I just pick up the ingredients. I'm not that stupid.'


'Hey!' Harry jokes playfully hitting Severus on the arm. 'I'm going to leave now as you are insulting me. I have to get to dinner before Madam Pomfrey comes after me.' Harry nods at Severus and leaves.

Walking back through the dungeons Harry is not surprised to see Gawain standing in front of him.

'Hi Gawain.'

'Hello Potter. Are you heading up for dinner?'

'Yes, but I was going to either find you or owl you later, so are you free to chat now?'

Gawain looks at Harry, as if searching for something, but her nods letting Harry lead him into a spare room and Harry automatically locks and silences the door.

'I have figured out a way for you and your sister to leave your parents expectations behind.' Gawain looks shocked. 'It is fairly simple but you will only be able to take few items with you.'

'I'm listening.' Harry conjures a high chair and sits down carefully, lifting his left leg so it is bent at the knee. Harry waves his wand and conjures another chair when he notices Gawain is just standing there. Gawain takes the hint and sits down on the edge of his seat. Harry explains.

'You leave as expected tomorrow. You will pack your trunks as usual only shrinking and storing in a separate bag in your pocket essentials you really need, like a few robes, your wands, maybe a couple of books. Heirlooms you really cannot part with. That's it. I will give you a portkey that will activate 30 minutes after you exit the Hogwarts grounds. You have to make sure you are holding onto your sister at the time or else she will be left behind.'

'What will the portkey be?'

'A glove preferably. I know as a pureblood you can get away with wearing one and it means you only have to be touching your sister she doesn't have to touch an object that might draw attention to you both.'

'Okay. Where will the portkey take us?'

'It will take you to the shrieking shack.'

'But it haunted!' Gawain yells.

'No it's not. I've been in there and it's nothing but a rickety old house. Trust me. There I will have one of my house elves waiting with some food that means you can eat some lunch and wait until evening to head back to Hogwarts main gates. You will appear to be two children who have lost their parents in the latest attacks and are coming for sanctuary.'

Gawain stands there gob smacked.

'Okay. This sounds fine, but how are we to survive. I don't have any money.'

'I'll give you what I have left. It's only about 50 galleons but it will be enough to buy a tent and some food. You will then have to barter. You do a job for food or clothes.'

'What about when Morgana needs to come back to school in September.'

'She will attend her second year in her new name or she will start her first year again with her new name. It will be entirely up to Morgana, although you and I both know this year Morgana has had many difficulties and could do with repeating her first year. This way she can.' Gawain sits in silence for a few minutes.

'I will have to talk to my sister about that option.'

'I understand. But it will mean you and your sister can throw off your parents name forever, you never have to go back. During a war lives are lost all of the time and there is never a fully complete list of all deaths. You and Morgana merely died during the fighting if that is what you would wish.' Harry explains. 'Do you have any other questions about leaving tomorrow?'

'How will I get a job? If I have a new name I don't have any school NEWT results.'

'They do exams at the ministry for two weeks during the summer holidays. I think you're going to have to re-sit them, say you were home schooled and in the disaster of the attack you didn't take your exams. Not all home schooled students are named at the Ministry so you can easily turn up on the day give your name, pay and sit the exams.'

Gawain looks at Harry closely.

'I trust you. But if we get caught… my parents will not be happy and neither will the Dark Lord.'

'If you get caught owl me straight away or call my house-elf Dobby. I will make sure he answers to you. I will then hide you somewhere else under the Fidelus charm until the war is over. Do we have a deal?'

Gawain is silent and then nods.

'You have tonight to sort this out secretly with your sister, and I need to receive the glove from you tonight and I will give it you back in the morning. If that is all goodnight.'

Harry brings down the silencing ward and unlocks the door leaving a dazed Gawain behind him.

The party in the Great Hall lasted until midnight. Harry made sure that Draco was okay with spending his summer with the Longbottom's, he had a small meeting with Dumbledore who had given him a new walking stick with a cushioning charm on the hand piece that is in the shape of a phoenix, he had received the glove off Gawain and even squeezed in a quick meeting with Dobby.

By the time everybody dropped into bed Harry was exhausted himself and had a short nap on the sofa in the common room in front of the fire and then summoned all of his belongings and packed two trunks. One for Malfoy with half of his clothes he believed Draco would wear, a few of his textbooks, some parchment and quills and then packed his trunk with the rest of the stuff. He then placed a 100 galleons inside Draco's trunk and left a note telling him to go and buy the textbooks from the last six years, some more clothes and a new potions set, and that if it came to anymore to charge it to his own account.

Luckily the Goblins stayed open all night and Dobby, after the quiet chat had been able to procure a bag of money for Harry and even started preparing food for Gawain and Morgana.

In the morning Draco was surprised by the trunk but appreciated it and after breakfast it didn't take long for the trunks to be taken down to the Entrance Hall, pack their animals in their cages with Harry's puffskein going home with Hermione as Crookshanks wouldn't part with it, say goodbye to all of their friends and Harry even remembered to take the evaluations and 'the book' up to Dumbledore before he had to rush to catch the train.

Harry spent most of the time on the way to London chatting, losing at chess and stopping people from bashing his leg in the cramped confines of a carriage compartment. They pulled into Kings Cross Station and Ron and Draco between them got Harry's trunk onto a trolley and pushed it through the barrier.

On the other side Harry is the first to notice the Weasley's, Lupin, Tonks and Shacklebolt waiting for them.

'Harry.' Molly smiles hugging him tightly still holding James. Harry kisses Molly's cheek and then kisses James, who yawns in his face. Harry goes along and hugs everybody holding very tightly onto Remus.

'Are you okay Harry?'

'Great. How are you holding up?'

'Great.' They smile at each other.

'I suppose I'll be seeing you on my birthday then when you pick me up.' Lupin nods and then Harry hugs Tonks with her bubblegum pink hair.

'Hello Harry. I wouldn't plan on making me a double, I couldn't cope with the walking stick.' Tonks whispers in Harry's ear.

'I won't.' Harry smiles. Tonks pulls away and slips her arm through Shacklebolt's and kisses him on the cheek. Harry rolls his eyes and shakes Shacklebolts hand.

'I've been told you have given up the idea of becoming an Auror.'

'Yeah. My legs dead, Poppy warned me that the nerve will never likely regenerate.'

'Well, I'll come around and test your manoeuvrability near the end of the summer and we'll see if there is anything we can do.'

'Thanks Shacklebolt.'

Harry turns back to the Weasleys.

'I'll be seeing you all soon.' Harry says. Arthur frowns and looks around.

'I don't see your aunt and uncle around.'

'They wrote, using the muggle mail like Hermione's parents do, and said they were not wasting their time picking me up when I had the audacity not to be locked up in St Mungo's. I have to catch a taxi back.' Harry explains.

'A taxi Privet Drive would be expensive Harry.' Lupin says.

'I exchanged some galleons to muggle money at Christmas and I never spent it all. I have about a hundred pounds left. That should be enough.'

'I don't think it is safe for you to be catching a taxi by yourself. Especially now you are injured.' Shacklebolt says coming over. 'One of us should go with you.'

'Look, I stopped the Killing Curse without a wand. If anything happens I'll throw up a block and call for you guys.'

Lupin pulls a gold medallion over his head and puts it on Harry.

'This is my Order portkey. If you get in trouble use it.' Lupin insists.

'Of course. Now I had better get going or else the Dursleys will yell at me for arriving late at night.' Harry hobbles over to Hermione and kisses her cheek before hugging her. Hermione holds him tightly. 'It's okay Mione, I'll be fine. I'll owl you everyday if you want.' Hermione nods against his chest still refusing to let go.

'You only woke up yesterday.' Hermione mumbles with tears in her eyes. Harry raises Hermione's chin until she is looking at his face.

'Mione, I am fine. I promise you I will be safe this summer and I'll see you in just over a month on my birthday. You are not going to loose me. In fact you're going to be stuck with me forever I'm afraid.' Harry smiles as Hermione nods and pulls away wiping away her tears with her hands. Harry kisses the top of Hermione's head before turning to Mrs Weasley. 'I'll see you on my birthday Mrs Weasley.' Harry takes the hug in his stride and then kisses James. Harry then turns and shakes Mr Weasley's hand before hugging Ginny and Ron.

'See you soon mate.' Ron says.

'Look after Mione Ron. No doubt you guys will be at Grimmauld Place within a week.' Harry orders. Ron nods.

'I will Harry.' Harry smiles and takes his trolley off Ron before turning to the last member of the group.

'Draco, be good for Mrs Longbottom and try not to insult Neville too much. I've given him permission to hex you if you do.' Draco nods. 'I will see you on my birthday. Owl me as soon as you are settled.' Draco nods again. 'Buy an owl will you. Hedwig will keel over if she has to collect letters every day.' Draco nods again. Harry pauses for a moment before hugging Draco. Draco stands their stiffly as Harry hugs him. Harry pulls away grinning. 'Better get used to hugs, it's all Mrs Weasley does. Oh and she stuffs you full of food.' Harry pulls out a small collection of galleons and pushes it into Rons hand who tries to push it back. 'It's not for you. You can get to Diagon Alley tomorrow and buy Hermione a tawny owl. Get Ginny one too.' Ron nods and puts the money away in an inside pocket. 'Okay, I'm off.' Harry nods at the group and leaning on the trolley hobbles out of the train station doors and out of sight.

'Tonks and I are going to trail after him just to make sure he doesn't get into trouble.' Shacklebolt says dragging Tonks away. Mr and Mrs Granger walk over to the group. Hermione jumps at her parents and hugs them much to their surprise.

'Hermione, darling. Is everything okay?' Mrs Granger asks. Hermione nods starting to cry. The Grangers look at Mr and Mrs Weasley bewildered.

'Harry was captured by the Death Eaters a week ago and he only woke up yesterday after treatment of his injuries. Hermione hasn't had much time to see him since he has recovered.' Lupin explains. Mr Granger nods and takes Hermione's trolley.

'Come on Hermione. Let's get you home.' The Grangers help a weepy Hermione out of the train station after a quick round of hugs.

'Come on guys lets get you all home.' Molly says herding her children out of the station. As they reach the doors Shacklebolt and Tonks come over.

'We lost him. We didn't get out here quick enough and nobody recognised his physical description.' Shacklebolt explains.

'I'm on first tomorrow.' Lupin says. 'I will check up on him and talk to him about loosing a protection detail.'

'I'll report this to Albus.' Shacklebolt says. 'Well Tonks and I must be off, our shift starts in an hour.' Shacklebolt and Tonks disappear.

'I'm helping the twins document their inventory.' Lupin says nodding and then disappearing into the crowds. The Weasleys head over to a car and soon they too are heading home.

Harry walked out of the front doors of the train station and ducks behind a stone pillar with his trolley. Using some wandless magic, which was untraceable by the Ministry, Harry turns his walking stick into a normal wooden one with a curved handle, grows his hair out, turns it blonde, turns his eyes blue, ages himself and then pulls out a vial from his pocket and downs it quickly. His school trunk is transfigured to look identical to a passerby's whose suitcase has wheels on it and his clothes charmed to a dark blue suit complete with tie. Leaving the trolley behind the pillar Harry walks with minimum help from his cane from behind it and passing Shacklebolt and Tonks who had raced out of the train station, Harry steps into the taxi at the front of the line pulling his suitcase in behind him.

The driver of the taxi turns and looks at Harry once he has settled into the back of the black cab.

'Where to mister?'

'The nearest hotel please, I've had a long journey.'

'Right you are.' The taxi driver replies.

Good job Albus told me I had to return to the Dursleys a while ago, it's given me plenty of time to make plans, Harry thought calmly, whilst smirking. It's going to be amusing watching the Order members chase after me without letting the Ministry find out.

The taxi pulls out into the steady stream of the traffic and Harry Potter disappears into muggle London.