A/N- I was sick today so I got the chance to finish writing my story. Review! -Phoenix
It had been a week since the battle and the school year was over. Students were getting ready to return home for the summer and the castle was going to be repaired while the students were gone. The battle was talked about with excitement by everyone except the teachers, Slytherins, and the Heirs.
Harry had willingly offered to help restore the castle with Neville not far behind him. It was only fair because they had destroyed their fair share of it. Harry wouldn't let Hermione help because her side was still sore so she opted to making Willowsong and Robin comfortable on Potter Grounds.
After they buried Goldengaze in the grounds, Willowsong had announced that she wished to live on Potter Grounds with Robin so that they would still be close to Goldengaze. Harry was more than happy to oblige. The mother and daughter were now working on making their new home in the nearby cliffs.
Fay had pulled through her injuries and was currently taking it easy as Hermione advised her against flying for a couple more weeks. The falcon was still very sore, but grateful to be alive. She had grown very close to Robin as both of them were unable to fly. The young griffin had named herself as Fay's personal caregiver when Luna wasn't nearby.
There had been quite the uproar over all of the pureblood deaths. Ten of the killed Death Eaters, Lucius included, were on the Wizengamot and the remaining purebloods on the court had demanded that the Heirs be incarcerated for murdering those of higher status.
"They have no case," Hermione had pointed out. "They attacked us."
As always, Hermione had been right. The evidence that the dead purebloods were Death Eaters was so concrete that the charges didn't make it past Amelia Bones' desk.
At the Black prison, they had secured twenty Death Eaters. Hermione had interrogated every one of them and had found out some useful information.
Apparently Voldemort had been planning on murdering Fudge's replacement as Minister, Rufus Scrimgeour, and then effectively take over the Ministry. However, that plan wouldn't be happening so long as Dumbledore was alive which was not supposed to happen.
Hermione searched every Death Eater's mind carefully, looking for any information on where the remaining horcruxes might be. She had found a lead in one unimportant Death Eater that lead to a gross little shack. While Harry and Neville were at Hogwarts, Hermione and Luna along with a few goblin specialists had gone to the shack and recovered the next horcrux, a ring.
After Harry and Neville angrily berated their loves for going on such a dangerous mission without them, they destroyed the horcrux and put the ring in a secure spot in Potter Manor where the other former horcruxes were kept.
Luna and Neville continued their respective training while Hermione anxiously waited for the true elves to come to her. Something inside of her told her that she shouldn't tell Harry about the true elves coming for her, and though she absolutely hated keeping something from Harry, she felt that it was necessary. Because, she had no way of knowing where the true elves would take her and how long she would be gone.
Harry wiped his forehead free of sweat before levitating another stone in place. It was the day that all the students went home, and he wanted to finish the wall that he had started that day. Kex lazily sat on the floor, telling Harry where to put the stone.
"You could help you know," Harry panted as he took a deep drink from his water bottle.
Kex scratched his pelt. "I know. But those stones are bigger than I am, and I would hate to have another familiar get hurt. People might start thinking that you're abusing us."
"Ha ha," Harry said sarcastically.
He finished the wall and picked up Kex before they started heading towards Dumbledore's office where he was going to meet with the Minister of Magic and the head of the DMLE, Amelia Bones. They were finally going to put the "Pureblood Massacre" as some called it, to rest.
When they entered the office, Harry frowned as he noticed that his friends were not present. Dumbledore sat behind his desk with his patronizing smile on his face with Scrimgeour and Amelia Bones sitting on the chairs while they awaited his arrival.
"Hello Mister Potter," Dumbledore said pleasantly. "I'm glad that you were able to come so quickly."
"What do you want?" Harry asked crudely. "I've got more work to do."
Scrimgeour scowled at Harry's apparent disrespect. "I am here to follow up on all of the Wizengamot Members that were murdered by your goblins. Those savages murdered good people and we need to take action."
"They can't take action against you so they're taking action against the goblins," Kex said angrily. "I really hate your government."
"Ditto," Harry mumbled. "Those brave goblins gave their lives protecting the school and its students from being hurt or worse," he said to the Minister coldly. "Trying to put the blame on others is not what it means to be a good leader. Those purebloods were Death Eaters and they were taken care of more effectively than you would have been able to do."
Scrimgeour glared daggers at Harry. "I am your Minister," he snapped.
Harry shrugged. "If it weren't for us, you would have been Voldemort's next target."
Dumbledore frowned. "And how do you know that my boy?"
"It's common sense," he snapped back. "Voldemort is exactly the type to kill the Minister of Magic and take over the Ministry from behind the curtain. Is there anything worth my time that you wanted to tell me? I won't testify against the goblins if that's the only reason you're here."
Scrimgeour grunted. "Action needs to be taken," he said. "The Ministry can't look incapable of defending its people. If we can hold the goblins accountable for this then things will be better for our world."
Harry rolled his eyes. "God forbid that a politician actually be truthful. The goblins saved your arse. The Death Eaters who the goblins killed were dangerous and had to be taken care of. It's plain and simple."
Taking great pleasure in it, Harry turned his back on the Minister of Magic and his Headmaster and promptly left the office. Behind him he could hear the Minister shouting, "Potter!" but he ignored it. As a Lord of two Houses, there was little that Scrimgeour could do to him.
He returned to the Great Hall to assist with the rebuilding. Surprisingly, most of the damage had been done there caused by the Order even though they had fewer Death Eaters to fight.
When he arrived at the Great Hall he saw Neville, McGonagall, Flitwick and Hagrid were doing most of the grunt work for fixing the damages while some students did their best to try and assist. He immediately walked up to Neville who was easily doing the most work.
"Hey mate," Neville panted as he placed yet another stone firmly in place in the floor. "How was the Headmaster's?"
Harry rolled his eyes and sat down heavily. "Scrimgeour wanted to put the blame on the goblins. I told him off and walked out."
Neville frowned at this. "I don't think we need another enemy, Harry."
Harry shrugged. "We already have Voldemort and Dumbledore. What's one more?"
That brought a dry chuckle out of him.
"Where's Sage?" Kex asked, noticing the wolf's absence.
Neville sat down across from Harry. "He went with Hermione to the grounds. Hermione said something about wanting a tracker."
"Hermione has been acting somewhat off," Harry noted. "I think she's more grieved than she's letting on."
"Maybe," Neville said, unsure. "Anyway, let's keep working; I'd like to be home before dinner for a change."
The two Heirs continued working while Kex "supervised" their progress. Between Harry and Neville's raw power, they accomplished more within the hour than the teachers did all day.
They finished repairing the ceiling when there was a flash of red hair coming their way. Harry groaned, it was apparently too much to ask that Ginny leave him alone.
"Ginny," Harry said curtly without pausing his work. "Do you need something?"
Ginny kept her flirtatious smile on her face and ran her hands down Harry's back, causing him to stiffen. "I just wanted to thank you for saving us all again," she purred. "Will you come to the Burrow this summer? I would love to spend the summer with you."
Harry shrugged off Ginny's touch. He could feel her lust for him using his empathy and it made him feel sick. "I won't be coming to your home," he said coolly. "I'm going to be staying at my home with my fiancé all summer."
"Why are you with that bookworm?" Ginny demanded. "I am much more worthy to be the Lady Potter-Black!"
"No you aren't," Harry snapped back. "You don't love me; you lust for my money and fame. Why could I want you when I could live with Hermione by my side for the rest of my life?"
Ginny's face flushed red in fury. "We are betrothed," she insisted. "You have no right to promise yourself to that loser."
"That contract was done without my consent and only applied to Lord Potter, not Lord Potter-Black," Harry said through clenched teeth. "And even if I weren't Lord Potter-Black, I'd sooner give up my birthright to the Potter House than be your husband."
"You don't mean that," Ginny fumed. She grabbed onto Harry's wrist and pulled him towards her. Before Harry knew what she was doing, she brought her lips to his and began kissing him lustfully.
Harry felt his body freeze in horror and disgust as Ginny continued to kiss him and began jamming her tongue in his mouth. It was nothing like kissing Hermione who was gentle and loving. Kissing Ginny was like kissing someone who was clearly marking their territory. It didn't feel good at all.
The sheer shock of Ginny kissing him in the Great Hall in front of everyone was enough to make him freeze and not pull away. It wasn't until he felt an overwhelming sense of hurt and betrayal that he finally shook himself out of it and push the Weasley away. He turned to the door of the Great Hall and felt his heart clench at the sight.
Leaning against the door for support was Hermione. Her mouth was open in shock and tears were running freely down her cheeks. She had obviously just walked in to see her fiancée kissing another woman; she didn't see him being forced to. By her side Sage was snarling profanities at Ginny and Ivy's tail was bristling so much in anger that it was nearly twice its normal size.
"Don't stop my love," Ginny said, loudly enough to be carried back to Hermione. She started to move back to kiss Harry once more. The motion was too much for Hermione to bear and she turned tail and sprinted away from the Great Hall with Ivy right behind her.
"Hermione! Wait!" Harry called. He ungraciously ripped his arm away from Ginny, making her fall on the floor in the process, and started sprinting after her, leaving a stunned Kex and Neville behind. He was shocked when Sage started running with him.
"She's leaving Harry!" Sage barked urgently. "They came for her. She was coming to tell you, but now she'll leave and I don't know when we'll see her again!"
Harry started running faster. "Who's coming for her?" he demanded.
Sage was built for running long distances at a quick pace and kept up with Harry effortlessly. "She asked me to come with her to the edge of the Forbidden Forest to help her look around. Apparently she was contacted by the true elves during her duel with Malfoy and they said that they would come for her when the time came. They contacted her by the woods and she was coming to tell you when she saw you."
"Bugger," Harry cursed.
Sage took the lead and led Harry down towards the edge of the Forbidden Forest. In the distance, they could see Hermione running down the hill towards the edge of the forest.
"Hermione, please wait!" Harry begged. "Let me explain!"
Whether it was his pleas or her running out of steam, Hermione began to slow down. During that time Harry caught up to her and grabbed her arm.
"Let me go," Hermione cried as she punched Harry in the chest. "I saw you! In the Great Hall in front of everyone!"
"She forced me!" Harry objected desperately. "Hermione, I love you!"
Hermione scoffed and pulled her arm back. "You didn't seem to mind the kiss from where I was standing."
Harry shook his head desperately. "Neville will tell you! Ginny forced me! Please Hermione, don't go. Don't leave me."
The sheer desperation in his voice made some of Hermione's anger melt, Harry could feel it. But the hurt was too deep for it to go away all at once.
"I want to marry you," he whispered as he gently pulled her into a hug. "It has always been you, Hermione. You're my whole world and I can't bear to lose you."
Hermione didn't return the hug. Her rationalizing mind was trying to tell her that Harry would never cheat on her, but her heart wouldn't hear it. It only felt the pain and betrayal of her love kissing another woman.
Stifling a sob, Hermione pushed Harry away. Her eyes were full of tears but she was refusing to let them fall. "I need to go," she said simply.
"No," Harry said desperately as he grabbed Hermione's hands. "Sage told me that the true elves came for you, but please don't leave me. Not like this."
Hermione turned her head towards the forest as if listening to someone talking to her. It lasted for a few seconds then Hermione turned back to Harry and kissed him softly on the lips.
"I've got to go," she said softly. "They're waiting for me."
Harry tightened his grip on her. "Why can't they come to you?"
Hermione sighed and leaned into Harry's chest. "They won't reveal themselves to humans other than me."
"How long will you be gone?" Harry asked, fearing the answer.
"I don't know," Hermione answered honestly. She took in a shuddering breath and stepped away from Harry. "I'm going to go," she whispered. She walked over to Sage and put a gentle hand on his head. "Will you tell everyone that I'm sorry that I left without a goodbye? And that I love them all very much?"
Sage nodded and touched his cold nose to Hermione's hand in a wolf kiss. "I'll tell them," he promised. "Just be careful."
"I will," Hermione promised in return.
She walked back to Harry and gave him another small kiss on the lips. Then, to Harry's absolute horror, she began taking off her engagement ring.
"No," he gasped in pain as she put the ring in his hand and closed it.
"I am not to bring any personal items with me," she explained softly. "Will you hold onto that for me?"
"You still want to marry me?" Harry asked hopefully.
Hermione chuckled and nodded. "Of course I do you prat," she said playfully. "I'll use this time to think about what happened and when I return I will expect that ring to be put back on my finger."
Harry kissed the ring and put it in his pocket. "It's yours, now and forever," he promised. "I'll wait for you. Just please, don't leave angry with me."
"I could never stay angry at you," Hermione answered with a teary smile. She then took off her wand holsters, portkey, and all other personal items on her and gave them to Harry.
"You can't bring your wands?" Harry asked worriedly.
"All I can bring are the robes on my back," Hermione answered. "Ivy is coming as is her right as my familiar, but other than that I am not to bring anything. Not even my books," she added with a scowl.
That brought a laugh out of Harry. He put the items in his pockets and pulled Hermione in a tight hug before kissing her passionately. That was the right way to kiss someone. A kiss that was so full of love and tenderness that he felt that his heart would explode from beating so fast. No matter how hard Ginny tried, she would never take Hermione's place. For now and forever, Hermione was his love.
After a minute of kissing, they came up for air. Hermione looked at Harry tenderly and cupped his cheek. "I love you," she said lovingly.
"I love you too," Harry whispered just as lovingly. "Please come back soon."
"I've always been a quick study," Hermione joked.
They shared one last kiss then Hermione picked Ivy up off of the ground and began walking to the edge of the Forest. She looked back and gave Harry a loving smile and stepped over the border. Harry watched in amazement as she disappeared seemingly into thin air.
Harry stood there in silence for a while with Sage waiting patiently beside him.
"She'll come back to you," Sage said confidently. "Hermione is a smart girl, she'll come to realize that you would never cheat on her."
"You think so?" Harry asked hopefully.
The wolf nodded and began walking back towards the castle. "Of course I do. If there's something that I've learned, it's that Gryffindor's and Slytherin's destinies are always intertwined just like Hufflepuff's and Ravenclaw's. You and Hermione need each other, just like Neville and Luna need each other. She'll be back and you'll both be just as happy as before, if not more so."
The two walked back to the castle where they met up with Kex and Neville. After explaining what happened, they went back to Potter Manor. While Sage went to fulfill his promise to pass on Hermione's message with Neville and Kex, Harry went to Goldengaze's grave alone.
The honorable griffin had been buried on top of the tallest hill where the view was the most beautiful and the breeze was constant. When he got up there he blinked in surprise to see that he wasn't the only one there.
"Hello, Willowsong," Harry said hesitantly, not wanting to disturb Goldengaze's mate.
The beautiful griffin raised her weary head from the fresh mound of dirt and gave Harry a kind look. "Hello, Harry," she answered. She used her tail to gesture Harry to sit down next to her. "You seem troubled," she observed.
"Hermione went to join the true elves," Harry said sadly.
Willowsong nodded understandingly. "She told me that she would be joining them to finish training," she admitted.
Harry sighed and looked longingly at the sky. "Do you think Goldengaze is at peace?" he asked softly.
Willowsong looked up at the sky with a hint of a smile. "I really do. Undoubtedly I miss him. But he did what was right. It just shows that even immortals are susceptible to death."
"I'm sorry," Harry whispered. "You lost your mate, Robin lost her father, and Hogwarts lost its protector. And all because of me."
"It wasn't your fault," Willowsong said softly. She stood up and shook out her graceful wings and looked at Harry with serious eyes. "And Harry, Hogwarts has not lost its protector. A week before he died, Goldengaze passed the Founder's Blessing on."
Harry gaped at her. "To who?"
Willowsong spread her wings and prepared to take off. "He passed it onto our daughter," she answered. Without waiting for Harry's response, she took off and flew towards the cliffs.
Harry stared after Willowsong, completely shocked. He sat next to Goldengaze's grave for an hour, just contemplating what Willowsong had just told him. Then, to his shock, he started to laugh.
"Goldengaze, you clever bastard!" Harry laughed, tears running down his face. "You knew that you were likely to die so you took steps to make sure that the Founder's Blessing would not be lost. That's why Robin's eyes have the same spark that yours did. I promise, Goldengaze, that I will do everything in my power to protect your daughter just like you protected me."
Above Potter Manor, a gentle breeze blew across the land. The battle may have been won, at terrible cost, but the war had just begun. The Spiritual Heirs of Hogwarts had yet to complete their destiny, but when they did they would take the whole magical world by storm.
A/N- Finite! Thank you all for sticking with me through this story. I have loved writing it and I do intend to start a sequel. I just don't know when I'll get it started; I'll probably focus a little on my other stories for a while. Keep an eye out for the sequel! -Phoenix