A/N: this is in response to Tsurai no Shi's "Through Masks and Mists challenge. I am attempting to follow all the rules, the one that I will probably end up breaking is the one where Harry has to be friends with one of them – he hated both in sixth year, and this is directly after. He's just been to Bill and Fleur's wedding, and is now going to Godric's Hollow.


Harry trudged up the hill. It was rocky, and gravel slid under his feet as he walked. Pulling his jacket closer around him, he stopped and squinted at the wooden sign ahead.

"Godric's Hollow, fifty meters from here…" he murmured to himself.

The wind whispered things to the olive trees that Harry would never hear. He walked on.

He reached the top of thee hill. It was a shallower descent, leading to a small village. To the east lay a wood, to the west a meadow, to the north a lake, and to the south, the wretched hill upon which he was standing. Hoping he would never have to make that climb again, Harry set off at a brisk pace through the village.

There were so many different sounds and smells. Someone was having sausages for lunch. A sparrow chirruped in the trees. The town was bigger than it looked – Harry counted three stores and over sixty houses. At long last, he reached the lake.

What should he do from here? He had no lodgings, for the Potter's home had been destroyed in Voldemort's attack. Could he possibly buy a house? He had no money; at least none that muggles would understand. And so how would he buy food? How would he pay for water? How…? What..? Why…?

Why hadn't he thought all this through before?

Sighing, he glanced wistfully at a little house near the meadow. It looked about two stories high, and was made of wood, but had brick around the corners. It was behind a little hill of its own.

Today was Friday. Ron and Hermione were due Monday week after next. Surely he could figure everything out by then?

Harry thus commenced house hunting. It had to be within ten kilometers of Godric's Hollow, it had to have at least two bedrooms, and a house preferably, not a flat. It was amazing how difficult a living space with his criteria was to find. As soon as he'd found the house, he would go the Gringotts, make a transfer, and so, be able to live quite comfortably.

After much searching, he found it. It was a house between the lake and the wood. It was set on a high, grassy slope, and the sun rose behind it and set in front. Pretty place. Perhaps he could keep it as a summerhouse.

At any rate, he bought it, and an excruciating process that turned out to be. He needed to be of legal age in muggle Britain, which he wasn't. It required much traveling to the Dursley's on his part, and finally, Petunia Evans Dursley bought it, but when her darling nephew Harry James Potter came of age, he would inherit it.

Lovely. So it was Monday morning, the week after next, and Harry was all set. He would go furniture shopping with Ron and Hermione; he had warned them to bring camp beds. The kettle was on the stove; the mugs were on the counter. The living room was furnished only with a table and three chairs. Otherwise, it was bare wooden floor all through the house, no beds, nothing. There was a cup, toothpaste and toothbrush in the bathroom, and a towel, but that was all.

Sitting on one of the chairs, Harry sipped coffee and concentrated on his copy of "Magic of the Orient." Quite an interesting book, really.

So there, Snape, he thought. Kappas are Japanese.