Disclaimer, Harry Potter does not and never did belong to me. Nor do any of his friends.
Leave me alone
The battle was over, Voldemort was dead, the elder wand was back in Dumbledore's tomb, Ron was with the other Weasleys as they made preparations to take Fred's body back to the Burrow for burial. Hermione joined Harry on the steps of the famous school's entrance, sitting next him she sighed, "So Harry, what will you do now?"
"Hermione would you mind leaving me alone," Harry replied not looking at her.
"I suppose you are tired," she said quietly "I'll see you tomorrow."
"I don't think so," Harry said his voice cracking a little.
"Harry what do you mean, what's wrong?" she asked getting worried because Harry sounded odd in some way, she wasn't used to this, she knew Harry, she normally knew what he was thinking, but now she was confused.
"Hermione just go away, leave me alone," was all he replied still sounding different.
"Won't you tell me what is wrong?" she pleaded fear beginning to grow in her heart, she knew there was something really wrong, Harry should be happy, relieved, he could have a free normal life now.
"For crying out loud, why don't you just bugger off back to Weasley," Harry almost shouted.
"Harry you have to tell me what's wrong?" Hermione said tears now beginning to form behind her eyes.
"Ok, Ok I'll tell you, I don't want anything to do with you or Weasley, it's over we're through, the friendship is dead," Harry hissed at her almost with hate in his voice.
Harry stood up and walked away from her as she tried to work out what had gone wrong, the tears were now running down her face quite freely, she had spent her entire life since she was eleven years old as his best friend, it was a friendship she thought would never end, the last few months she had spent with him living in a tent, she thought they had grown even closer, getting up she ran after him.
"Harry please tell me what I did wrong, why are you so angry with me?" she said as she grabbed his arm and pulled him around to face her.
Harry stared at her for quite a few seconds before he spoke again, "Do you remember Godrics Hollow, do you remember what you did there?" he asked almost glaring at her.
"We went to your parent's home, then we went to the graveyard, then there was that awful snake, I don't know, what are you saying, what did I do?" Hermione said still crying.
Harry now glared at her as though she had just slapped him, but she could not understand what was happening, this wasn't like Harry, Harry had always treated her with respect, always told her how good she was, how he could not imagine her not being in his life, her mind was in turmoil as she tried to figure out what was going wrong.
Harry turned again walking away from her with a shrug, as though she had just said something he didn't believe, she followed at a trot so that she could catch up with him.
"Harry?" she said as she caught hold of him again.
"Hermione you chose him, now for heavens sake sod off," Harry said fiercely before he shook her hand off him.
She remained stood there staring at his back as he began to walk away again. "Why are you hurting me Harry, what did I do that was so bad?" she asked as she dropped on to the grass sobbing.
Harry turned and stared at her, disbelief written all over his face, "Me hurting you, now that's worth a laugh," he said as he looked down at her, but he wasn't laughing he had tears falling down his cheeks.
Hermione still hadn't worked out what she was supposed to have done, so she sat there in the damp grass and relived her time sharing the tent with him, she remembered protecting him from Ron with her shield then choosing to stay with him when Ron left them, she then remembered holding him in her arms at Godrics Hollow, she remembered all the times they had held hands, all the times they had walked with their arms around each other, how they had fallen asleep in each others arms, and suddenly she knew what she had done, she knew what was wrong, she looked up.
Harry had walked just a few yards away from her, he had fallen to his knees and as she looked at his back she could see that he was crying, his body shook as the heart ache over took his ability to keep it under control. "I died out there today, I saw Dumbledore, we talked, I saw my life and those I love," he managed to say before his body began to shake again.
After what seemed an age she heard him take a deep breath "I really thought you felt the same way I feel, but I was wrong you chose him, that's one of the main reasons I came back, so you could have a happy life, but it doesn't mean I have to see it, you made a fool of me, making me love you then kissing him right in front of me, so just go to your deserting boy friend, and leave me the hell alone."
Hermione sat and watched as Harry collapsed into an exhausted and broken hearted heap, as he wept openly on the scorched grass of the lawn just a few yards away, Hermione smiled through her tears, she was feeling happy as she crawled on her hands and knees to his side, she lifted him and wrapped him in a hug, then she kissed him with more passion than she had ever put into anything in her life before.
"Oh Harry you silly man, I kissed Ron because I thought you were in love with Ginny, I watched you check that map every night and I thought you were watching her," Hermione said as she pulled back a little.
"I was checking the map but only to see that they were all safe," Harry said a small smile on his lips.
"I always hoped, but I was so sure I had no chance, Ginny is so beautiful and…" Hermione was cut off as Harry leant forward and kissed her hard.
"I love you Granger, you are the most beautiful woman I ever saw, I read once that beauty was only skin deep, but I think that saying was wrong, you are beautiful both inside and out, your beauty goes way past skin deep,"
Harry said as they held each other.
"I love you too Potter, I have since I was twelve years old," she answered him.
Kneeling on the damp lawn they held each other tight and kissed again and again, the kissing continued for fifteen minutes before Harry rose and lifted Hermione to her feet, "We should leave," he said as he wrapped an arm around her waist.
"Where will we go?" Hermione asked as she in turn wrapped an arm around Harry.
"We should go to your house, we wont be looked for there, and we should get ready for our next search," Harry answered a large smile on his face.
"Next search?" Hermione said hoping he meant what she thought he did.
"For your mum and dad," Harry said as they hand in hand walked away from Hogwarts, and all the death destruction, joy and celebrations, to make preparations to visit Australia.
It was three days after the battle of Hogwarts before any of the Weasleys thought about Harry or Hermione, and it was the Weasley patriarch that eventually muttered "I wonder what they are doing, Harry and Hermione, wonder where they are?"
The silence that Arthur's words caused to fall around the table in the kitchen of the Burrow was deafening, a dropped needle could have been heard as it bounced on a thick carpet it was so quiet.
Ron looked at Ginny, his face looked pale and stricken, "We forgot about them," he gasped to Ginny.
Arthur, Molly, Bill, and Charlie, looked with disbelief at the two youngest, no one spoke for a while. Then eventually Percy spoke quietly, "Ron I thought that you and Granger," he paused for a second or two "and you Ginny, I thought that, I mean Harry, you and Harry."
The horrified look's on the faces of the two youngest were enough to let the others know that Ron and Ginny had indeed forgotten about Harry and Hermione, they had left Hogwarts with out saying a word to their best friends, not even to invite them to Fred's funeral .
"You cocked that up," George said from the doorway, it was the first thing he had said since Fred had died.
Ron looked at his father pleading with his eyes for advice.
"Sorry Ron, we were all…" Arthur looked at George.
"You turn my stomach, after all they both did for us, bloody hell, Harry went out and died out there for all of us, we always told him he was like family, what kind of family does that make us," George said his tears starting afresh.
"Oh that poor boy," Molly said as realisation of what they had done came to her, "When he must really need his family he has no one."
What they never knew was that Harry only ever needed one person, and she had been the one to follow him as he left the great hall that day.
Harry and Hermione walked from the Hogwarts grounds just as they had walked away from Godrics Hollow church yard, Hermione's arm was wrapped around Harry's waist, and his arm held her tight as it wrapped around her shoulders pulling her in close to his side. As soon as they were far enough away from the walls of Hogwarts to be completely clear of what remained of the protective wards, Hermione apparated them to her parental home.
Appearing in the hallway of the moderately wealthy family home, Hermione pointed out the kitchen to Harry, "Could you put the kettle on love, I think we need a cuppa?" she said with a small smile.
While Harry walked off to the kitchen Hermione checked out the collection of mail that surrounded the front door, most of the stuff was junk mail, but there were just a few household bills to be paid, luckily none of the bills were more than a few weeks old and none of them urgent. I'll sort them tomorrow she thought as she placed the letters on the hall table, she then flicked her wand at the junk mail, sending it back to where it had originated.
Harry walked into a rather nice bright kitchen, there was a fine layer of dust all around so he took out his wand and with a quick flick he cleaned the room, using one of the many charms he had heard Molly Weasley use over the past seven years. Ten minutes later having run off some water then filled the electric kettle, then nipping to the local shop for milk, both he and Hermione were sitting snuggled together on the living room couch drinking their tea.
"So do we have any more clues where to begin our new search than we had with the last one?" Harry asked hoping that Hermione would say yes.
Hermione looked down at her feet, tears were once again glistening in her eyes as she shook her head, "Just the names, that's all, I didn't want any death eaters to find them."
Harry placed his hand on her waist "Well it's more than we had before, don't worry we'll find them soon enough," he told her trying to sound confident.
Hermione smiled through her tears "Thank you Harry," she whispered "you always know just what to say."
She craned her head up and kissed him gently before resting back into a more comfortable position with her head on his chest, "I love you Harry, so very much."
Harry stroked her hair for a few minutes before he took a deep breath, "I have loved you for years miss Granger, now I think we should get some rest, we have a lot of work ahead of us," he said as he kissed the top of her head then reached forward to place his empty cup on the coffee table. "I'll sleep here."
Hermione looked up at him as though he had grown another head "What do you mean you'll sleep here?"
"I mean I'm ok with the couch," Harry said shrugging his shoulders.
"Harry Potter we haven't had a decent place to sleep for months, if you think for one moment I'm going to let you sleep on the couch," she said as she got up and pulled him after her "we have slept together in that tent all year, I wont be able to sleep if I cant hear you breathing close by."
Harry was too tired and his bruised body in to much pain from being thrown around by Voldemort to argue as she pulled him up the stairs and across the landing into her room. "Right first things first, get out of those dirty clothes, then we will have a shower and in the morning we can sort you out with some of dads stuff," Hermione said her bossy side taking control of things.
Harry's face glowed red and he just stood there looking at her.
"What, it's not like I haven't seen you in your boxers more than once in the last few months," Hermione said as she opened her wardrobe and pulled out some fresh nightwear.
"Hermione, I'm not wearing any, I had no clean ones left so I…" Harry tailed off as she looked at him.
"Well I don't suppose you are the only guy that let it hang loose," she giggled, "now get those clothes off."
"Hermione," Harry said his voice cracking.
Hermione turned from the task of adding extra pillows to the bed "Oh come on Harry, I'm going to see it all when we take a shower," she turned quickly back to the bed as her face turned crimson, she had never expected to be so bold and daring. Taking a deep breath she began to unbutton her shirt, it felt good to be a little brazen with Harry.
Harry shrugged, he was so tired and he hurt so much he didn't suppose he would be fit to do anything more than sleep, wincing in pain he pulled his shirt off followed by even more wincing as he pulled off his tee shirt. Just a few seconds later he had removed his shoes and socks and was gingerly pulling his legs from his jeans.
Hermione was down to her knickers and bra when she turned slightly and saw the bruising that covered most of Harry's body "Oh god Harry look at you," she whispered shock evident in her face.
Harry found himself unable to look at him self when the woman he loved was standing in front of him in just a flimsy bra and a pair of white knickers, neither of which seemed to be what he had expected Hermione to wear.
Hermione could not help but see the reaction Harry had to seeing so much of her, but she tried hard to ignore the obvious as she dragged a naked Harry out of the room and across the landing to the bathroom, she let go of his hand as she reached over to the side of the shower cubical and switched on the electric water heater.
"It won't take long to warm up," she said as she turned on the taps and put her hand under the water flow, setting the temperature till she had a nice warm flow of water, "Ok in you get," she told him as she took his hand and gave it a squeeze.
Harry walked into the cubicle and stood under the warm flow of water, feeling the tension lifting from him as he just soaked him self. He idly wondered why he no longer felt embarrassed in Hermione's presence, but shrugged the thought away. Hermione left Harry in the shower and walked out of the room and Harry felt just a little disappointed, he had thought that Hermione meant they would be taking a shower together, grabbing the soap he closed his eyes as he began to gingerly wash away the grime of battle.
Two minutes later he heard the bathroom door open and close, "Towels," he heard her say as he washed his hair with a fragrant shampoo that reminded him of the woman he loved. His eyes popped open when he felt two hands begin to wash his back, turning around he stared at a naked Hermione who was looking at him with pursed lips.
"Keep still for a moment love," Hermione said as she pulled her wand from behind her ear, some thing she learned from Luna, then gently she waved her wand up and down his torso, by the time she stooped down to do the same to his legs the bruises on his upper body had faded into memory, Harry could not help but notice that as she rid his legs of bruising her face was just fractions of an inch from his uncontrollable embarrassment.
When she stood up he tried to say thanks but was only able to give out a tiny squeak, she turned her back to him "Wash my back please," she asked passing him some shower gel over her shoulder.
Harry did as she asked before he chickened out and quickly left the cubicle grabbed a towel and wrapped it around him self.
"Well that never happened in my day dreams," Hermione laughed as she watched him cover up, his face redder than any Weasley had ever been.
"Day dreams?" Harry stuttered.
"Yes you know, the dreams you have when you are in Binns class, or when you are lying in bed unable to sleep, the dreams of when you make love to me in the shower, or in the kitchen, or the library," she said turning red her self but chuckling any way.
"You had day dreams about me?" he asked still stuttering.
Hermione poked her head out of the cubicle "Yes but only since I was fourteen, and then it was only several times a day, I was sort of hoping we were going to make one of them come true."
Harry gasped he could not believe what his prim and proper Hermione was saying "I never thought, I mean I never… I don't know what to do," he said still with a slight stutter.
"Well you could start by coming back in here," Hermione said feeling bolder by the second, she new she was shocking him and she found herself enjoying it.
"You don't understand, I don't know how," Harry said feeling really embarrassed by his admitting it.
"You mean sex; you never got the talk…" Hermione shut up as she realised he had no family, no one to give him the talk except the Dursleys and they would never have told him anything.
"Oh Harry I'm sorry I didn't mean to embarrass you love, mum gave me the talk the day I had my first monthly visitor," Hermione said quickly.
Harry's next words came as a shock to her "I suppose Ron knew what to do."
She rushed from the cubicle and flung her arms around his neck and pulling him close, she looked up into his eyes, then she said "Oh Harry I'm so sorry, I never, not with Ron, not with anyone, I just wanted to see what it would be like to be brazen, I've only ever loved you."
Harry let out a breath he never even knew he had been holding, Hermione had her breast pressed tight against his lower chest and his brain had shut down for a while. They took time to discover each other that night in Hermione's bed; it was quite some time after their shower that the two of them finally got to sleep. They would start work on their search in the morning, Harry was certain that now they had finally found each other, they would surely find the Grangers, with that thought he pulled the sleeping Hermione a little closer then fell asleep him self.
Mid afternoon the following day, both Harry and Hermione had taken care of all they needed to in Britain, Harry having drawn a large sum of money, enough for several weeks in Australia, from Gringotts, and Hermione having sorted out all the house hold bills that needed paying, they set off for the airport.
It took them almost a full day to reach Australia, both of them were feeling weary when they left Sidney airport and climbed into the back of a cab and asked to be taken to a decent hotel near the harbour, the cab driver started to chat to them as they made the long drive into and through the city.
"So you just on a short visit?" the cabbie asked Harry as Hermione drifted between being wakeful and being asleep "
"We are here looking for my girl friends parents," Harry said trying to be friendly, he felt good knowing he could relax here where he was not famous.
"Need to find her real parents eh?" the cabbie asked smiling "I was adopted my self so I know what it's like."
Harry saw no reason to tell the guy any thing different so he just nodded as he looked at Hermione's sleeping face.
"So what are their names, maybe one of the drivers has picked them up," the cabbie said as they neared the half way point in their drive.
"Wilkins, Wendell and Monica," Harry said thinking here was as good a place to start as anywhere else.
The cab swerved as the driver turned quickly to look at Hermione "Well I'll be," he said as he turned his attention back to the road.
"You know them?" Harry asked some shock in his voice.
"No not really, but I remember about a year ago, I picked up a Wendell and Monica, much the same as I picked you up, we got talking, they asked me a few questions about some where they might find to settle down, I told them about a place near Katoomba, last thing they said was that they would head out that way the next day, thing is Monica looked a lot like that young girl of yours," the cabbie said before he changed the subject and began talking about the opera house.
Harry shook Hermione to wake her when they reached their hotel and thanked the cabbie giving him a generous tip and his sincere thanks before he took Hermione by the hand into the hotel. Asking about a room Harry was just about to ask if there were two single rooms available when Hermione beat him to it.
"Do you have a double with a nice view," she said making Harry suck in a small breath.
As soon as they had fixed up a room Harry lay down on the bed and watched as Hermione took a few things from her case. "Don't unpack to much love, we are only staying here for the one night, first thing in the morning we are off to Katoomba, where ever that is," he said grinning like the cat who got the cream.
"What on earth is Katoomba?" Hermione asked as she walked toward the bathroom, all her shower kit in a little water proof bag.
"Hopefully that's where your mum and dad are," he answered with a chuckle.
Hermione turned and looked at him "Harry?" she said with the look that said are you sure.
"Look love don't go getting your hopes up, it's just a lead from the cabbie, we still have to figure how to get there," Harry said sitting up and looking into her hopeful eyes.
"We could hire a car, I have my license with me," Hermione said forgetting about her shower.
"You can drive?" Harry asked surprised.
"Yeah, I took my test last year at Christmas when we took those two days off."
Harry didn't need to ask if she had passed, this was his Hermione and he couldn't remember her ever failing in anything. "Ok, we drive," he said as he lay back down.
Harry was covered in a mass of soft brown hair before he had even got comfortable; Hermione's lips were kissing every part of his face she could reach. Putting his arm around her neck and pulling her gently down on top of him, he kissed her passionately before letting go and reminding her she was about to take a shower.
"You coming with me, I still have that day dream to fulfil," she said as she opened the door to the bathroom.
"Just how many of these day dreams are there?" Harry asked chuckling as he walked over to join her.
"Oh just like I told you, several a day since I was fourteen," Hermione laughed as she took off her blouse.
"You do know you have one heck of a sexy body, don't you?" Harry said as he watched her undress.
Tired from the long flight they both fell in to bed straight after having showered and were asleep within a few minutes. They both slept well and did not wake until ten the following morning, by ten thirty they had packed their stuff away and were down stairs in the dining room having a late breakfast.
"I'll just see about hiring a car while you finish off here," Harry said as he got up and left the table.
Three and a half hours later, with Hermione at the wheel, the young couple were driving along the main road through Katoomba, Harry had only seen Hermione's parents a few times and he wasn't sure he would recognise them if he saw them again but he kept on looking around as they looked for an hotel.
Hermione spotted a burger place and without warning she swung the wheel to take the car into the parking area, Harry with his head close to the window gave his head a hard crack as the car made the unexpected move.
"Bloody hell Hermione, you tired of me already," Harry said rubbing his head and grinning at her.
"Sorry sweetheart," Hermione said chuckling and not sounding the least bit sorry, pulling into the nearest empty slot she pulled on the brake then turned and gave his head a quick kiss "there all better now," she giggled.
"Thanks mum," Harry said as he rubbed his head again.
Harry left Hermione sitting in the car while he fetched them both a couple of burgers each and a cool drink.
Hermione had finished her drink after eating just one of the burgers Harry had bought her, she was staring absently out of the window as she waited for Harry to finish his drink when she gave a little squeal started the engine and then roared off straight across the foot path and onto the main road, driving like a demon was on her tail the car bucked and bounced as it crossed the paved footpath and over the kerb stones on to the road.
"Er thanks love," Harry said as he stared into the cup at the remains of his drink, the rest of it had splashed all down the front of him soaking into his lap.
"Sorry," was all Hermione said as she weaved her way around the few cars that seemed to be blocking her view.
Harry saw the name of a road as they turned into it at a faster speed than he would have liked, 'Narrow Neck Road' Harry read as the car rushed on ward.
The speed Hermione was driving it was not long before they were pulled over by a police car, "Harry love you have to obliviate him, I'm sure I saw my dad in that silver rover," Hermione said as the police man walked toward them.
"Obliviate him, Hermione he's a police man and you were driving a little crazy," Harry said as she wound down her window.
Harry did as she asked leaving the police man thinking he had just given them directions before waving them on their way, they set off again but this time Hermione was driving a whole lot slower as she scanned the drive ways for a silver rover.
They had just driven past when Harry saw Mr Granger emerge from the side door of a garage, "Stop!" he called as he realised who he was watching, it was definitely Hermione's dad. Both he and Hermione stared in disbelief as Mr Granger opened the front door to the house and walked in.
"Bloody hell we did it Hermione, we found them, how the hell did that happen, I thought this would take weeks," Harry said somewhat shocked at just how things had been easy for the first time for he didn't remember how long.
Hermione sat shaking like a leaf as she stared at the house her father had just entered, Harry reached over and put his arm around her shoulder, "You want me to go?" he asked smiling at her a little.
"No Harry I have to do this, but you will come with me wont you?" Hermione said sounding more nervous than he had heard from her before.
"You think they will be mad at you?" he asked feeling a wave of tenderness for his girlfriend.
"No it's not that, they gave their consent before I changed their memories, but what if I cant put things right Harry, what if they don't get their memories back, what if…"
Harry cut Hermione off "Hermione love, you are the greatest witch in a millennia, there is no way you will fail, not if you are confident love," Harry said sounding gentle.
Hermione took a deep breath then slowly opened the door "Well the sooner I do this the sooner I get my family back, and I want the pleasure of introducing the man I intend to marry to my dad."
"Er Hermione, aren't you supposed to wait until I ask you before you make that decision," Harry said having changed colour to a rather pale gray like shade of green.
"Well you were going to ask me?" she said grinning at him.
"Well yes but not until we were back in England," Harry said frowning a little.
"You would still have to face my dad," Hermione said chuckling as she realised it wasn't the marrying part of what she said that had him worried "it's alright Harry, you are after all the greatest wizard since Merlin remember."
"All that's as maybe Hermione Granger, but Merlin didn't have to face your dad, now did he," Harry said as he slid from the safety of the car.
Hand in hand they walked up to the door, Harry knocked and then stepped back, just a minute later Mr Wendell Wilkins opened the door. Just over an hour later Harry and Hermione finished telling the Grangers all about their war and Harry's victory over Voldemort, after congratulations and thanks for protecting their daughter Mrs Granger made them a fresh pot of tea. Hermione looked at Harry and with that way she had of talking to him with out saying a word, Hermione's eyes told him to talk about them getting married.
Harry took a deep breath then turned to Mr Granger, "I would like to ask for your daughters hand in marriage," he said all in one breath.
Mr Granger looked at Harry with a rather stern expression "And what might I ask took you so long to ask?"
Harry stared at Mr Granger, his brain had some how locked up as he tried to speak, "I, you… er, Hermione,"
Hermione and her mother sat giggling and it wasn't long before Mr Granger lost control and began to roar with laughter, with tears of laughter streaming down his face Mr Granger pointed a finger at Harry "Your face…" was all he could manage.
Harry eventually found out that the Grangers had know for years that Hermione was in love with Harry, and last year after seeing the young couple say goodbye to each other on the platform at Kings cross, they had known then that Harry was in love with Hermione.
"How come I'm the last one to know these things," Harry said with a mock pout.
"Maybe it has something to do with a tea spoon," Hermione said laughing.
Four months later Harry and Hermione said their marriage vows in the local Muggle church, they had a small family wedding, to which Harry invited his Aunt, who to his surprise actually turned up, along with a huge sized Dudley.
Harry lived with the Grangers. Having no real reason to work thanks to his inheritance he bought Hermione a small book shop in which both he and Hermione were working as Muggles, only doing magic on odd occasions.
Mr and Mrs Granger had allowed Harry to live with them for a time and to share Hermione's room with her, two months after the wedding Mr and Mrs Harry James Potter moved into a nice comfortable detached house that sat in an acre of gardens. Nobody from the wizarding world had any idea where they lived and they were quite happy to leave it that way. It remained that way for the next twelve years, the first time they stepped foot into Diagon alley since before they embarked on their trip to Australia was the day they took their son Richard and daughter Kathleen to buy their school uniforms and other school supplies.
Kathleen Laura Potter, eldest of the Potter children by five minutes stood at the entrance to Diagon Alley, a warm breeze ruffled her long dark auburn red hair as she stepped into what until right then had been simply a picture painted in her mind by her mother and father, she looked around her, from her brother to her father, and then her vivid green eyes locked onto her mother who with a slight nod gave her permission to go and look around.
Richard Frederick Potter, whispered thank you to his mum as he took hold of Kathleen's hand, together the excited green eyed, auburn haired twins stepped in to the Alley, they knew exactly where they wanted to go and they were both feeling rather grown up.
"No running, you two," Harry said as he grinned at his children. Taking Hermione's hand he looked into the warm brown eyes of the woman he loved more than life "Shall we do this then?"
Two minutes later the twins were excitedly waving to Cousin Teddy who had promised to meet them at Flourish and Blotts. Teddy Lupin, Harry's godson was two years older than the twins, he and his grandmother were the only two people in the wizarding world who knew who the two eager eleven year olds were.
Harry and Hermione following the twins were entering the famous book shop before they were recognised. A rather burly red headed man ran across the street to them and grabbed Harry in a bear hug, lifting Harry off his feet before putting him down and lifting Hermione who he spun around, a huge smile on his face that lit up the depth of his eyes. Having stopped spinning Hermione he planted two huge kisses on each of her cheeks.
"George Weasley, put my wife down you old rogue," Harry said laughing as he wrapped an arm around Georges shoulder.
"Bloody hell, I've missed you two," George said the smile on his face seeming even bigger.
By the time George had lifted spun and shook hands with them a rather large crowd had gathered, their reaction was not the one that either Harry or Hermione had expected, it seemed every one in the crowd quietly and simply thanked them and welcomed them back before moving on to continue their shopping.
George gave the crowd time to welcome their hero home before insisting that Harry and Hermione accompany him to his shop, "You are after all a partner," he said as Harry looked into the book shop.
"Ok George just give us a minute," Harry said as he spotted Teddy. "Teddy, grab the twins, we've been invited to Mr Weasleys joke shop."
Teddy led the two rather reluctant young Potters away from the books to the door way, where their parents waited. Kathleen looked up at George who was smiling down at her "Are you Uncle George?" she asked holding out her hand for him to shake.
George bent down and scooped her up planting a kiss on her cheek "That I am that I am indeed," he said touched that she recognised him. Still holding Kathleen, George took the hand Richard offered and laughed as Richard sighed in relief, "Maybe I'll give you a kiss later," he joked watching with a huge grin as Richard looked horrified at the idea.
The walk to the Weasleys shop, with George still holding Kathleen in his arms was a rather slow one as the Potters were stopped every few feet by people, who showing both Harry and Hermione deep respect welcomed them back.
"Are you famous mum, dad?" Richard asked looking from his dad to his mum.
"Your mum and dad are the most famous people in the wizarding world, your dad is the most powerful wizard since Merlin, and your mum is the greatest witch there ever was," George said seriously as he opened the door to the shop. Ignoring his customers George made his way to the counter and lifted up the small hinged section at end on the right hand side, "Come on you lot, come meet the wife," he said as he nodded to one of his staff before opening a door that led them to a flight of stairs, "Sweet heart! We have visitors," he shouted up from the bottom step.
Both Teddy and Richard slowly walked past the displays their eyes wide at each different one, they were both reluctant to follow the adults when there were so many goodies look at, George grinned at the boys as he watched their eager faces "Come on boys, how about a cup of tea first, then you can come back down and chose something to take as a gift?" he asked quietly.
Still a little reluctant the two boys followed with their feet dragging a little, their two wistful faces still looking back at the displays. Both Harry and Hermione were taken by surprise when they entered the living quarters and were met by Cho and her children, four boys and a girl. Cho greeted George with a kiss; both Harry and Hermione noticed the unmistakable love in her eyes as she watched George as he placed Kathleen on her feet.
Hermione was a little hesitant when she noticed that they seemed to have interrupted what looked like a lesson, she had never forgotten that most wizarding children were home taught, she tried to apologise for the intrusion but was over ruled by five young Weasleys who were more than happy to take a break from their schooling.
After giving each of her visitors a hug, Teddy looking remarkably uncomfortable, Cho told the children to play in the play room, "And no fighting boy's," she added as the young ones all walked into another room.
George brought them up to date on what was happening in the wizarding community, Kingsley Shacklebolt was still minister and he had pushed many new laws through, all of the changes had been good ones, he had almost eradicated the discrimination between species, Arthur was assistant minister.
George even apologised for them not having been invited to Fred's funeral, he held nothing back as he told them that both Ron and Ginny had forgotten all about them until Arthur had reminded them three days after the battle.
"Mum wasn't very happy with them, it took her nearly two years before she stopped reminding them, I'm sorry I was in no fit state to see what was happening at the time," George said as he finished off his tale.
Harry and Hermione felt a little guilty but with a look from Hermione, Harry said nothing about their leaving Hogwarts and going to Australia, with just a look she told him it would be silly to bring back old memories and open up old wounds. Harry asked how Ron and the rest of the family were doing, while Cho and Hermione started talking about children and Hogwarts.
"You can pop in and see Ron, he has a small shop over at the far end of the Alley, him and his wife Sue sell brooms, truth is I would never have expected it of him but he is doing well, they make speciality brooms for Quidditch, they even make a select range for the ministry, Percy we never get to see him, but Penny pops in with her two young ones, Charlie is married to a girl from the Ukraine, met her on the dragon reserve, Bill and Fleur live over in a small village in France, Ginny is team manager for the Harpies, and mum, well mums just mum, she misses both of you a lot though," George grinned as he watched the two women chatting "you should pop over to the Burrow, it would make her day to see you two, and she will be over the moon seeing those two lovely kids."
Three hours later having bought all the children's school supplies, and having most of the shopkeepers refuse payment, and Hermione having amazed both of the children by shrinking all their stuff and putting it all in one small bag, the Potter family finished the ice cream they had been treated to by Mr Fortiscue, they left the ice cream shop, Teddy left them and went home with his grandmother who kissed both Harry and Hermione on the cheek then said "Its about time you two came home," before she waved and walked away with Teddy in tow.
"So what do you think love, shall we go and visit Ron at his shop?" Harry asked Hermione as she cleaned up Richards face, he had somehow managed to cover in chocolate.
"Well whether we like it or not we are back in this world now, so I suppose there is no time like the present, yes lets get it over with," she answered taking a dab at her tongue with the end of her hanky and rubbing at Richard's chin with it.
A few minutes later Harry peered in to the window of Weasleys Wonder Brooms, he could see Ron hunched over a workbench, his back to the door. Turning to the twins he placed his finger across his mouth and nodded to the door, Hermione cast him a smile and looked at the door as Harry reached for the handle.
Harry heard the tinkle of the door bell as he entered the shop, "Be right with you," Ron said with out looking up from the bench.
Harry followed by his family silently made his way to the counter, "I'm told you make a decent broom, I could do with two," Harry said a smile crossing his face.
Ron dropped what ever he was working on and froze, "H… Harry?"
"You should make that three love," Hermione said as casually as she could.
"Hermione?" Ron said sounding like he didn't believe his ears.
"Why do we want three brooms?" Richard whispered to Kathleen, she shrugged her shoulders, "I don't know."
Ron Weasley turned slowly around as though he was afraid of what he might see, the huge smile that broke out on his face when he saw his two best friends standing at his counter wiped away nearly all doubts the two Potters had had about coming back into the world of wizards.
"Merlin's beard!" Ron exclaimed as he jumped his counter and grabbed Harry in a fierce bear hug, still squeezing Harry Ron turned a teary eye on Hermione "Its really you," he said sounding truly happy.
By the time Ron had finished hugging them and holding Hermione at arms length saying "Let me get a good look at you." All three of them had tears running down their cheeks. Hermione was feeling really relieved with the way Ron reacted, she had been worried he would be angry at them.
"Kathleen, Richard, this is the famous Ronald Weasley," Hermione said as she introduced the twins to Ron.
"Hello Uncle Ron," the twins said in unison.
"You look just like your grandmother Lily," Ron said to Kathleen as he gave her a gentle hug, "And you young man look just like your dad, except for the hair."
Five minutes later Ron closed up the shop and the two twins made their very first trip by floo to Ron's home on the out skirts of Ottery St Catchpole. They were greeted by a very surprised and heavily pregnant Susan Weasley, who they had known as Susan Bones at school. After two butterbeers for Harry and two cups of tea for Hermione, glasses of pumpkin juice for the twins, Ron was telling the twins all about the things he had done with their parents while at Hogwarts. At four-o-clock Susan said it was time to fetch their children from their great aunts, she said her goodbyes saying again how good it was to see them all before she left them all to finish their drinks.
"Fancy a walk over to the Burrow then," Ron said as he tidied up the kitchen "Mum will be tickled pink."
Harry looked at Hermione, Molly Weasleys reaction was their last worry about re-entering the wizard community, Hermione gave Harry the look that told him it was time to face the woman he had considered the nearest thing to a mother he had ever known.
The walk to the Burrow seemed to be over before it really began as far as Harry was concerned, Ron walked into the kitchen first and after a quick look he gestured for them to come in. Hermione looked around at the empty kitchen, it had not changed from how she remembered it, she watched as two sets of astonished green eyes tried to take in all the amazing sights of the kitchen, and she remembered how she had felt the first time she had been there, the twins heads turned from the grandfather clock with spoons instead of hands to the dishes silently washing them selves in the sink and the knitting needles that were quietly clicking away on a chair.
"Mum," Ron called out as he helped him self to a slice of tart.
"Be with you in a second," Molly's voice came back from upstairs.
Harry and Hermione both stood nervously watching Ron as he devoured the slice of tart, their ears were suddenly assailed by the scream of Molly Weasley "Ooooh, Harry, Hermione, oh thank Merlin my children are back." Before either of them could react they were being pulled together into a very tight hug by the Weasley matriarch.
"Grandma Weasley?" Richard said quietly as the grey haired woman squeezed his parents. Molly instantly turned her attention to the twins, she grabbed Richard in one of her famous Weasley hugs almost crushing his ribs, she then looked up at Hermione from her position stooped in front of Richard, she had streams of tears flooding from her eyes.
"He called me Grandma," she said sniffing.
Hermione sniffed back her own tears, "You were the only mum Harry ever knew."
"So," Molly said turning her attention to Kathleen and hugging her as well "who do we have here?"
The twins introduced themselves and then along with their parents they were ushered to the table by Molly, "You are staying for dinner?" Molly said looking at Hermione.
"I've missed your cooking Mum," Harry said wiping a stray tear from his eye.
Molly flopped in to a chair at the table tears once again flooding down her face "You never called me that before," she said between gasps and sniffs.
"Well I thought it often enough," Harry replied quietly.
"Boy if I'd known you four were going to make my poor old mum cry so much," Ron said chuckling, and looking teary eyed himself.
Hermione watched as all her worries about their reception after being away for so long disappeared completely, with tears falling down her cheeks she realised she hadn't been quite so happy in the Burrow ever before, and she was feeling like she had come home.
They had a similar reaction when Arthur Weasley arrived home from work, though Arthur only sniffed and blew his nose, both Harry and Hermione could feel how happy he was to have them back. The twins told Molly and Arthur how their mum and dad had told them bedtime stories all about the Weasleys and the way they had looked after their parents and been like a family to them as they grew up.
It was late that night when the twins had another new experience in the world of magic, when they stood at the roadside outside the Burrow and their dad held out his wand, a few seconds later they saw a huge purple bus appear, none of them were able to relax as the Knight bus took them home.
Richard Frederick Potter the third, looked down on the body of his great grandfather, the smile that had stayed on the old wrinkled face even after death still seemed to hold some sort of calming warmth in it. They would soon be closing the lid to the casket.
Richard knew exactly why his 'Grandy' as he had called his great grandfather, was smiling when he had died, in fact Richard had not been surprised by the fact that the great Harry Potter had no fear of death at all, and was in fact looking forward to it, as far as Richard knew his Grandy had been looking forward to his death since before Richard was born, in fact Harry had been patiently waiting for the past fifty years since the day his wife Hermione had died.
The worlds most famous wizard had died just two months to the day after his 167th birthday, it had been bright and sunny all day, Richard thought back to just that morning when he had arrived to take Grandy for his usual stroll around the local park.
"Grandy you up yet?" Richard called as he climbed the stairs to his great grandfather's room. Entering the bed room he found his Grandy still lying in bed, his eyes were shining bright and he had a huge smile on his face.
"Hello Rich, you're a little early this morning, still it's a good morning and I think I will enjoy my little walk with you before I go," Grandy said quietly.
"Are you going somewhere Grandy, do you want me to come with you?" Richard asked.
"Where I am going is a place you won't see for many years," Harry replied smiling.
Harry rose slowly from his bed and helped by his great grandson he dressed for a walk in the sunshine, during the walk around the small memorial park, dedicated to those who had lost their lives at the great battle of Hogwarts, he had something to ask of his favourite great grandchild,
"I want you to write a book, I have left you several vials containing my memories of over 106 wonderful years with your great grandmother, I want you to write the story of our lives together, put an end to all the rubbish that people keep writing about us," Harry told Richard as they walked back to the old bookshop that Harry still lived in.
Arriving upstairs in the old Muggle book shop Harry sat in his usual worn out chair by the fire and looked at his ancient watch "It won't be long now," he said smiling.
"What's that Grandy?" Richard asked turning from making a pot of tea to look at the older man.
"I was just saying it won't be long, Hermione will be here soon," Harry said his smile getting bigger.
"Er Grandy, nanna Mione died remember," Richard said a little worried for Harry who had never said anything like that before.
"Oh I know that son, it was fifty years ago today," Harry said as he looked at his watch once again.
Richard finished pouring the tea and then offered Harry his favourite cup, "Here you go Grandy, this'll wet your tonsils a little," he said with a little chuckle.
"I don't think I'll have time today," Harry said as he relaxed back into his chair.
"I'll just put it over here then," Richard said placing the cup on the small coffee table.
Harry began to breathe gently and Richard smiled at his sleeping Grandy, he was so proud to be the great grandson of this great man sitting sleeping opposite him. Richard was in deep thought about Harry's request for him to write a book about the lives of him self and nanna Mione when he felt the warmth, it was not the warmth that comes from a summer day, or a roaring fire, it was a warmth that was filled with hope and love.
Looking up Richard saw a bright white light in the wall that slowly grew and changed into a bright open door way, then a beautiful woman about twenty years old stepped into the room, it took several seconds for Richard to remember where he had seen her before.
"Nanna Mione?" Richard gasped.
The young Hermione Potter placed a finger on her lips, telling him to remain silent, then she walked over to Harry and gently placed her hand on his shoulder "It's time Harry love," she said so quietly Richard only just heard her.
As she removed her hand from Harry, Richard watched as a young Harry Potter stood up and enfolded Hermione in a hug, they shared a kiss while Richard sat and stared, unable to believe what he was seeing.
Both Harry and Hermione turned to look at Richard "Thanks for looking after me so well," Harry said as he waved goodbye.
"Bye sweetheart, I look forward to the day we meet again," nanna Mione said as she blew Richard a kiss "Bye."
And then they were gone, Richard knew with out looking that his great grandfather was dead, slowly pulling himself together Richard lifted the now lifeless body of the great Harry Potter and carried it very carefully into the bed room and gently lay Harry on the bed. Richard sat by Harry's bed for over half an hour just revelling in the wonderful feelings he had, he felt so privileged having been allowed to see what he had seen but he decided he would keep that all to him self, it was a memory to treasure.
Richard smiled as he looked around him at all the Potters that were beginning to gather around the large flat above the Muggle book shop.
His Grandfather Richard and great aunt Kathleen stood next to their father's bed, both of them were shedding tears but neither of them looked sad.
"Do you think he is with mum?" Aunt Kathleen asked.
"I think so," Granddad Richard answered.
"Grandy is definitely with nanna Mione," Richard told his older family members "you can be sure of that."
Richard felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to look into the eyes of his father, "I'm proud of you son, not many your age would look after their elders."
"I loved him," was all Richard had to say.
His father nodded, "Yes son and Granddad loved you."
The Funeral was held in the family plot in Godrics Hollow, Harry was laid to rest with his wife and his parents, Richard watched as the coffin was lowered in to the ground, he felt no need to say goodbye as other family members were saying, instead he just said "Till we meet again," then he slowly walked away.
Three months later Richard opened the box his great grandfather had left him, he knew what it contained and he was eager to start looking through the memories, he had already decided he would look through them for the memories of the time his grandfather always talked about, the time when the first Richard Potter and his sister had entered the wizarding world.
The problem that faced Richard was one he had not given any thought to, 106 years worth of memories filled a lot of vials, and though the vials were all named none of them were dated, this was going to take a very long time.