Harry and Ginny appeared in the Headmaster's office, both of them still wounded. Harry looked tiredly at Ginny before that fire he saved for combat appeared in them again. He and Ginny watched as Albus dropped into his seat, sighing deeply. Three different calls echoed in the room, Nox, Caliban then Fawkes all appearing, all of them flying in a circle around Harry and Ginny. She felt Harry calm down, but still some anger remained. Caliban landed on Harry's right shoulder, Fawkes on his left, while Nox took a place on her right shoulder. They all shed tears into Harry wounds, the curse marks closing slowly, such was the power of Voldemort's spell.
'I hope you could listen to me, for a while,' Albus started, looking sadly at Harry.
'Then speak,' Harry bit out, the cut in his leg still leaving one side weaker than the other.
'You must understand...' Albus started.
'We don't have to understand anything!' Ginny spat out, glaring at the Headmaster. Fawkes trilled softly, it felt like only she could hear it for a moment, then she looked at Albus, something now seeming a little smaller about the man.
'Let me have my piece, then you can have yours,' Albus begged.
'Then start old man,' Harry said flatly.
'I wanted you to be a child. I wanted you to not have to grow up as you did, I wanted to keep you free of adult burdens. I wished you didn't need to find Voldemort today, it still isn't your burden,' Albus paused. 'All those years ago I placed you with your aunt and uncle. I hoped they would treat you just as James and Lily did, but I was wrong. I damned you to ten years of abuse. If you want to be angry with me, I deserve it in every way.'
'You deserve that and far more,' Harry said, breathing out. 'You know why parents were targeted, why they were killed. That's what I need to know.'
'Please Harry, anything but that,' Albus said. 'Please let me have this burden one more year. One more year you don't have to worry about who lives and dies.'
'My godfather died tonight!' Harry shouted, Ginny barely noticing the change in volume, her ears still ringing from the battle.
'Of that I am sorry,' Albus said, he tried to continue, Harry's words cutting deeply.
'If you knew my parents so well why didn't you confirm it was Sirius who betrayed them? Let's start a count of the lives that a tiny bit of thought could have been so much better. When Sirius went to Azkaban he was torn away from his only friend from school left. What about his girlfriend who thought the worst of him for a while? Then there's Neville's parents, still in Saint Mungo's from the actions of a diehard few. All of this is before we even start on myself. Anything to say to defend yourself?' Harry asked, his tone just as flat as before. He could feel his wounds had closed properly before he tried to place more weight on his injured leg, almost buckling with the effort.
'I focused on you,' Albus replied. 'I wanted to make sure you were safe...'
'Safe? It took cousins I had no idea about to make sure I was safe. I always went back a prison every summer,' Harry countered.
'It was for the best, the blood wards are strong enough to stop Voldemort,' Albus said. He looked at Ginny, her expression one that only Molly Weasley could rival.
'Blood is only so much Albus, I've bled enough for the family I didn't choose,' Harry said, heat in his voice. 'They made me bleed, do your blood wards accept that as payment for my protection?'
'I am truly sorry... I should have checked on you,' Albus started, again Harry cutting him off.
'Can the bullshit, why?' Harry asked.
'When he first fell, we'd lost so much, families having only one member left, just like you Harry. They had relations to take them in, I didn't want to see you grow up surrounded by cameras. I thought it best you were just Harry, not the Boy-Who-Lived. Voldemort still had power even after his defeated like that,' Albus replied, looking at the pair as he gaze had fallen back to his desk.
'For one thing, call him by his real name, not that anagram,' Harry said. 'You would have rather me abused and unloved than knowing of my true status?'
'Hardly,' Albus replied quickly. 'I wanted a normal boy to come to Hogwarts, you were underfed, but normal, of that I can make no apologies.'
'You think that's an acceptable trade off?' Ginny asked, faster than Harry could speak.
'Ginny, please,' Harry said.
'I don't know what he gets off on,' Ginny said to her husband, clear that she was ignoring the Headmaster.
'I deserve that and more, but please, don't ask me for the prophecy,' Albus asked.
'That is the only thing of value you have,' Harry said calmly. 'Tell me what those words say. That I have a power that he doesn't know? That I am the only one to end his reign?'
'You're closer to the truth than I like,' Albus said. 'You meet all of the requirements.'
'Then I know it already, who cares what it says,' Harry replied. 'I have many powers he doesn't, but the most important one is the love I have for the people I care for. Just like Sirius I'll rise to their side when they're in trouble and I'll make sure those who attack them are brought to justice, even if no court is involved,' Harry said, letting go of Ginny, but not the staff. He looked at the silver trinkets on the desk. 'You would track me like an animal so that you're conscious is clean?'
'No Harry, to make sure you were well,' Albus said, seeing the flash of rage so consuming he knew he said the wrong thing.
'Well?' Harry asked, jamming the sword of Gryffindor in the floor he took the staff in both hands, sweeping it across the table, the trinkets flying into the wall, breaking on impact. He seemed to fall, catching himself with the staff. 'They did such a wonderful job before.'
'Come on Harry,' Ginny said, walking to Harry's side. She watched him pull the sword out of ground, the three phoenixes behind him all trilling a song in unison, their spell a legend, almost lost to time. He felt all of the pain Harry had been through, just seeing the memories only showed him how much he endured, but the phoenix song told him so much more. The isolation and depression, the suffering, physically and mentally weighing on his soul.
'I hope one day you can forgive me,' Albus said looking at the couple.
'You need to forgive yourself, now ask yourself, was I ever a child, don't just say I wasn't, but work it out yourself,' Harry said, limping back to the door, disappearing in a sea of flame, like the one last night, this time it just faded, leaving one man alone in his depression.
'You're back, try the water,' Susan said seeing Harry dropping into a seat by the pool. He pulled off his shirt and robe, falling back first into the pool, the waves covering the others still in the pool. Ginny changed her clothes into bathers, a bikini rather than a one piece, sliding into the water she smiled. She swam to Harry's side, holding him close. He held her close,his arm floating in the water near her waist, the water teasing his body with its gentle touch, all of his aches and pains fading slowly.
'It's great Susan,' Harry said, his eyes shut.
'Harry, why is Fawkes here?' Bill asked, as he, Charlie and Tonks climbed out, Susan following them a moment later, after she studied her hands. They found large towels waiting for them, like the pool, they had been warmed.
'She's left Albus for me,' Ginny said. 'I don't know why though.'
Fawkes trilled, before adjusting her wings.
'You listen to her more, she felt like she was being ignored,' Harry said, feeling Fawkes through Ginny, just like he guessed Ginny felt Caliban.
'No, it's more he'd forgotten the lessons he learned,' Ginny said. 'Either way, Fawkes says it's just for a while, Caliban does a good job of keeping us grounded.'
'Too good,' Harry added, the almost chortles coming from the phoenixes waking Harry up.
'What about the prophecy?' Susan asked, the only one to dare the subject.
'It's me, always was, I've got some power he doesn't know or have,' Harry explained. 'The question is more which and how.'
'You'll work it out,' Ginny said, kissing her husband.
'I will, I just hope it's as simple as I think it is,' Harry whispered, sending Ginny some thoughts, more particularly from the room that opened for him. Ginny shut her eyes, feeling the warmth and affection, more importantly understanding Harry had gained from the room. She felt herself just that little bit more connected to the Force as well.
'Thank you for sharing Harry,' Ginny said, content to float beside her husband.
The Eldritch was an old cruiser, everyone on this side of the Rim knew that. The lone guard in this section of the junk yard yawned widely, seeing five Jedi all together was unexpected. He was about to challenge them when the leader spoke to him.
'Is this the Eldritch?' he asked, something in voice making the guard's natural instincts relax.
'It is, what do you wish with her Jedi?' the guard replied.
'I wish nothing bar to see her one last time,' the lead Jedi said, the softest turn of his hand. 'As do my friends.'
'You want to look at her, why don't I give you the access key?' the guard asked, happy to be helping the Jedi.
'Thank you,' the lead Jedi said as he took the access key. He walked back to his group, before they all walked on the ship, the access port closing behind them. The guard had the sudden urge to go have a nap. As he walked away from the ship, he was sure he heard the engines firing up, but shook his head. There was no way the ship worked. He reached the barracks and fell into his cot, glad he could rest for a little while.
The five Jedi each sat at one station in the bridge of the Eldritch, the lead Jedi looking at the co-ordinates, feeling they were wrong. He corrected them slightly, before he looked at a woman, pale auburn hair trailing down the back of her robes. 'Are we ready?'
'As we could be, hope she lasts,' she replied as the ship launched into Hyperspace, following another pair, not more than two days ago, beyond the first to go beyond the Rim.