Harry strode through the partially melted snow, hands tucked in his sweater pockets and nose hidden behind his old Gryffindor scarf. The lane was quiet and serene; the quaint old fences showing a dark brown against the muddy, snowy landscape. The only sounds at the moment were the sounds of Harry's quick breathing and measured footsteps.
His thin shoulders were lighter than they had been of late, although there were dark circles under his eyes and his hair looked as though he had tried to cut it himself, leaving him with a shaggy cut of black hair. His green eyes remained fixed ahead of him, though they seemed to look at something beyond this lane and the old house that he had made his destination.
Hermione had been the one to find it, actually. He smiled as he remembered her look of pure delight, remembered her running her hands up and down the old banisters and examining the dusty paintings moldering on the wall.
"Do you realize what a piece of history this is?" she had asked excitedly, "This could be-- this house could be centuries old! Imagine it, Harry, an old stone house like this lasting this long! Without magic or attendance!"
Of course, then she had raced off to find records of who had occupied the house centuries ago. Harry had watched her go, his heart brimming over with affection for his best friend. This is what he had stuck it out for. Her happiness, Ron's happiness, everyone's happiness.
But it would be a long time before everyone would be happy. So many people were mourning those they had lost....
Harry had reached the doorstep of the old house. He examined the old, faded sign that hung on the door hand: For Sale by Owner.
He sighed and pushed his scarf down off his nose, revealing a frown of concentration. He was not concentrating on the sign, however, but on a bank vault, far away from here, filled with wizard gold.
It could be the stupidest idea he had ever had, which, if you looked at it in context of his life, was saying something. But she had seemed so excited about it... and who said it couldn't be restored? It couldn't take that much, could it, especially with magic?
But this wasn't about the money. This was about thanking someone who meant more to him than almost anyone in the world; this was about giving something back.
She was worth it: all of it.
Moments later, the house was alone again, as it had been for the past four hundred years.