Harry Potter stared at the wand in his hand, turning it over and over between his fingers, enjoying a rare moment of quiet. It was over a month since he had finally, utterly removed Voldemort, Tom Riddle, the Dark Lord, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, whatever anyone wanted to call him, from the world. But even with him gone, life was anything but calm and peaceful.
There had been interview after interview, photographs, press conferences almost daily for at leasst the first week -he had discovered that there were, in fact, several other news companies besides the Daily Prophet. This was the story of the century, and they all wanted a piece of it. Needless to say, the closest to enjoying the attention came from a quiet interview over a cup of -thankfully normal- tea with one Luna Lovegood, whose questions printed in the next issue of the Quibbler were far more... interesting, and certainly more original than the repetitious ones asked by what they both christened the "Boring" newspapers.
On top of that, there had been the sad affairs of organising dozens of individual funerals, as well as a ceremony to honour all those who had died, not only in that final battle, but those taken over the year when Death Eaters had run amok. A memorial was erected in the reformed Ministry of Magic, replacing the "Magic is Might" statue in the main hall. Upon the polished marble, hundreds of names were inscribed, not just wizards and witches, but muggles too, as well as no few named magical creatures who fell in the battle. Names were coming from all over the world, though each country's version of the Ministry had a similar set up. Harry himself had filed for Dobby to have his name included in the remembrance. Every day the list was being added to as more people were made aware of its presence, and more were confirmed dead. It stood now as a symbol not only of remembrance, but of the growing equality that the wizarding world was now partaking in, having seen the folly of discrimination.
There were daily arrests of Death Eaters who had managed to escape the battle or had hidden from their master's call in the first place. The number of arrests, though, were now dwindling, but that came little comfort to the many ministry workers who had to face the paper work and the court dates and yet more paperwork.
National problems aside, Harry faced worries of his own. The Dursleys had returned to their home in Privet Drive, safe and sound, explaining to their inquisitive neighbours that they had spent the year visiting some distant relations of Vernon's in Kent, followed by a world cruise. They had, of course, spent their year in hiding, barely aware of the reason for it, as ever existing in a constant dismissal of anything magical, even when it was flying right over their heads. Where they had been kept safe, Harry had never inquired, but he was surprised to discover, a week after their return to Privet Drive, an owl sent via Dedalus Diggle to the Burrow, carrying letters from Dudley.
Well, it actually compiled of two pieces of A4, with a dozen very short scribbled letters written at different times across the year, though he was sure to Dudley it seemed an epic piece of correspondence. What he could gather from the child-like simplicity and spelling of the letters was that every once in a while, his cousin had decided to write to Harry, and tell him what was going on, even if he had no way of sending it. This boggled Harry's mind. Not only was it proof of the... kindness? Friendliness? That the boy had shown him as he and his family had departed Little Whinging, it showed determination to prove it. He mentioned that he had to keep the fact that he was writing to Harry secret from his parents, and Harry knew, even without looking at them, that the effort of not only putting pen to paper, which the boy had hated when he had to do it for school, never mind doing it of his own volition, not just once, but over the period of a year, must have taken a lot more concentration that had ever been expected of the boy.
For the first time in his life, Harry Potter felt familial attachment to one of the Dursleys, and he wasn't entirely sure what to make of the sensation. Deciding to foster Dudley's new found concern for another human being's existence, Harry replied to the letter, ensuring to include the address to Hermione's parent's house so that Dudley could reply, if he so wished, through the muggle system, and they, having had their memories returned and reclaiming their house, had promised to send any letters on to The Burrow via owl. It still came as a shock to him, though, when it became a continuous, albeit somewhat irregular, correspondence.
As for Harry himself, his affairs had yet to be completely set in order. Since the Battle of Hogwarts, he had faced the problem of finding his place in the world. The school was going through major repairs, even now. Despite this, letters had been sent to himself and many many others who's learning had been interrupted in their final year, offering them the choice of returning to finish their school careers, or if not that, just as a place to stay. With so many families ruined and homes lost, it was offered as a place to stay for those left orphaned or otherwise seeking shelter. While, admittedly, all students had proven themselves compare in their defence of their school, their family, friends, and their beliefs, the offer was still given to them to return, if they chose to do so. He still hadn't replied, uncertain of what he wanted to do.
Plus, he barely even had the time to do so. He had bounced between living in The Burrow and in Grimmauld Place over the last few weeks. Kreacher had returned to the Blacks' house, and with the elf's help, Harry had been working to get it to a state that he could live in. Little by little, the old place was becoming habitable, and it was a good place for him to escape to when it all go too much for him, either by himself or with Ron and Hermione. Even so, the Weasleys insisted on him spending most of his time with them, and he had to admit that he wanted to take advantage of the freedom to spend time with them, especially with Ginny. Even through the grimness and heartbreak that surrounded the family after the loss of Fred, they pulled through and pulled together. Strained though they were, especially with Mr Weasley spending so much time in the Ministry, it was still a home, and Harry felt safer and more comfortable surrounded by the healthy bustling of a normal family.
Right now, Harry watched his fingers twirling the hawthorn wand of Draco Malfoy over and over. He hadn't used it since he used it to disarm Voldemort as he took his own life through his ignorance. After fixing his own holly and phoenix feather wand with the Elder wand, he had no use for Draco's. But the Malfoy family had removed themselves, or else had found themselves removed from the school premises before he had awoken from the coma-like sleep that he had fallen into after dragging his tired body into the four poster bed in Gryffindor Tower.
Not that that was saying much; he had slept for almost twenty-four hours straight, his body demanding rest after the strain of "robbing" Gringotts, riding a dragon, fighting a war, dying, coming back, and killing the most viciously evil man in living memory in a raterh short amount of time. That kind of thing did tend to kind of take it out of a person. When he had awoken many people had left, and he was more than a little disorientated to find the sun rising, having gone to sleep as it was just hitting mid morning the day before. After a meal brought to him by an eager Kreacher, he had gone looking for the rightful owner of the wand he had used for the last few weeks, only to be unable to discover him.
After that, the thought had been swept out of his head by the aforementioned events, but now, in an unusually quiet moment at The Burrow, having hidden himself away in the room he and Ron had shared so many times, he just stared at the smooth, dark wood of the wand. Draco had kept it pristinely, far better maintained than Harry's own. As glad as he was to have been able to restore his own and be reunited with it, Harry couldn't deny that this wand had served him well. It felt comfortable in his hand, and he couldn't help but remember what Olivander had said; this wand had given him its allegiance.
If it hadn't been for Draco, Harry would have died several times over by now. At Malfoy Manor, when he had refused to admit that he recognised Harry, when both of them knew he did. Narcissa's love for her son had made her proclaim Harry dead when he was not. And if it hadn't been for Draco disarming Dumbledore, unaware of what he had set in motion, Harry would perhaps have died instead of Voldemort that day. The world would be utterly in the Dark Lord's grasp. All would be lost. All those years of animosity between them, and in the end, it was because of Draco Malfoy that the "great" Harry Potter was alive. It was because of him that the people of the world, not just the magical community, but the whole world, now walked free of terror. In the end, it hadn't just been Snape who was working against the Dark Lord's plans to bring his downfall, but a scared little boy given too much responsibility and expected to be so much more evil than he was, he had changed the course of history, and he didn't even try.
Hearing Arthur Weasley's voice downstairs, Harry sat up, these thoughts still swirling around inside his mind. Thinking quickly, he leapt off the bed he had been lying on, flinging himself down the stairs. Mrs Weasley was in the kitchen, bustling around preparing dinner.
"Hello, Harry dear," she said warmly as she chopped carrots, "Ron and Hermione are still out wherever they've vanished off to. Ginny should be back soon though."
"Actually, I was looking for Mr Weasley," he said, breathless from tackling the many stairs between Ron's room and here, "I thought I heard him coming in, is he back from work? There's something I want to talk to him about."
"I think he's in the living room, dear. Mind he isn't asleep, though, Harry. They're working him to the bone at the Ministry lately."
Harry couldn't help but look at her a moment more. She had been through so much. She eternally looked tired, and yet she still never stopped. He admired that ability of hers; she had suffered through the last year as well. Not just the loss of Fred, or looking after George when he lost his ear, but the constant worry she went through of not knowing what was happening to he, Ron and Hermione when they were searching for Horcruxes, dreading something happening to Arthur while he was at the Ministry, as well as Ginny being in the hands of the Carrows at Hogwarts. And yet, she never stopped being this; the eternal source of maternal strength. The support that they all turned to. Not just her family, but Harry and Hermione as well, and anyone else who sought it. He genuinely wondered at times how she managed it.
"Something wrong, Harry?" She asked, noticing his pause.
"No, no nothing," he said quickly, turning and heading for the living room.
He found Mr Weasley in his favourite chair, moved around so it was in front of the fire. He looked physically drained, though it was palpable the difference between him working in the Ministry now and when it was under Voldemort's thumb. He once again seemed to have a pride in his work. As exhausting as it was, he now felt right working there again, and that fact was easy to see.
"Mr Weasley," Harry said cautiously, not wanting to wake him up if he was asleep. Arthur's eyes opened, slightly surprised, but awake, "I'm sorry, but I wanted to ask you about something."
"Harry!" he said brightly, despite his tiredness, "Come, sit sit. Ask away, anything, though don't mind me if I'm not all with it. Been a long day in a long week, I'm afraid."
Taking the chair opposite him, Harry studied him for a moment, uncertain of what he would make of the inquiry.
"Well, what is it you'd like to know?"
"I... Well, it's about the Malfoys..."