Voldemort's body had fallen with a normal sounding thump. Nothing special, nothing extraordinary, nothing to make you think he was the most evil wizard in the world. Harry was happy for his life but sad because of all who had died. It seemed to take forever but eventually he was able to make his way to his old dorm and onto his old bed. Somehow it was ready for him and he fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. When he awoke it was light out though the sun was going down. Ron was the only other one in a bed and he was totally out of it. Harry stretched and yawned as he pulled himself up. He staggered across the bedroom and into the bath. He started his shower and then leaned against the wall while the hot water eased the soreness from his muscles. He stayed in the shower for more than half an hour before the water started to run cold. He turned it off and dried off. Dressing quickly he started to leave the bath when he was struck by a thought.
"The water is heated by magic, how did the shower run out of hot water?" he stopped in the doorway, but after a moment he shrugged it off, "The battle must have messed something up."
Ron was still asleep so he left him to rest and went to find some food. Not wanting to be mobbed in the Great Hall he decided to head to the kitchens. He went down the stairs and was half way down when it started to move. Still being slightly wobbly he sat down. He was glad he had when the staircase jarred to a stop. Never before had a staircase stopped halfway through a transition, he even thought he heard a metallic clang when it started back up. Puzzlement was clearly etched on his face by the time the staircase reached its final destination. He hurried the rest of the way down the stairs before anything else could go wrong.
"What is going on?" it was so quiet he kept his thoughts to himself, unwilling to break the silence, "The castle is acting weird."
Entering the kitchen he got his third shock of the day. Not a single house elf was in the room. Usually there were a hundred or more elves all trying to help him. Looking around he couldn't even find any food, but he did see a door that looked very out of place for the castle. At first he thought it was a wall that had been damaged during the battle but on closer inspection he found it was a door propped open with something on the floor.
"Curiosity killed the cat." He mumbled as he pulled the door open and stepped through.
Inside he stood stock still, stopped in his shock. He was standing in a gleaming white, perfectly clean, huge muggle kitchen; he had seen a glimpse of something like this on the Telly during a show about restaurants. There were stoves with knobs to turn on burners, muggle light fixtures, he even spotted switches scattered around the room. His stomach growled again reminding him why he had left the tower. Looking around again he spotted what he thought was a huge refrigerator. He was proven correct when he opened the door and found a plate full of sandwiches covered in muggle plastic wrap. He took a few sandwiches and poured a glass of pumpkin juice before he shut the door. He went back to looking around as he ate.
"Attention." a loud voice from a speaker overhead made him jump, "The cameras in the dorm area are back up but Potter has left the tower. All crews begin the search. Actors do not enter the set until an area is cleared of his presence. This is not a drill. I repeat this is not a drill."
"What?" he looked around wildly for a moment before heading toward the door he had spotted earlier, going the opposite way that he had entered. Peeking out he found the way clear, he slipped out and snuck down the hall. About three meters from the door he froze when he heard footsteps and voices coming his way. Thinking quickly he spied a door and opened it to find a cupboard full of cleaning supplies with just enough room for him to stand. He pulled the door closed and pressed his ear to it.
"Wonder where he went this time." a females voice said in a whisper.
"With any luck he found out and is escaping." Harry thought the voice sounded like Ginny Weasley.
"Don't you want to marry him?" the first voice asked.
"Of course I do." He was sure it was Ginny now, "I just wish it could be his real choice not some stupid plot they're pushing."
"It's real to him." Still unsure of who the voice belonged to he listened harder, "Maybe you should tell him."
"I can't." Ginny said, "If I tell or even think of telling then Ginny Weasley dies and they'll fix him up with someone new. At least I actually care about him, I don't know if my replacement would. I would hate to see him with someone who only acts like they want to be with him."
"Caught between a rock and a hard place." the other voice agreed.
"What would you do?" Ginny asked, "I know you like him too. But could they put him with Luna if Ginny dies?"
"I feel the same way." Harry decided it was Luna talking by the conversation, but it didn't sound at all like her, "It's a bad situation, tell him and you're gone or stay and lie at least in part."
"I hate this." Ginny grumbled, "I just want to take him away from this place and find a real life with him. I'm so afraid he's going to find out this is all just a telly program and think I'm lying about my feelings too. When I started this thing I didn't really understand what I would have to do, what lies I would have to tell. I really do love the person he is and I am not willing to lose him." It sounded like she started hitting the wall, "I'm doomed. Try to tell him and they kill off my character, don't tell him and he'll hate me for my part in this. Why does love have to be so complicated?"
"Love is not complicated." Luna pointed out, "Telly programs are."
"Why did I have to fall in love with him?" Ginny grumbled again, "It was so much easier being the terribly shy little sister."
"He's too nice not to fall in love with." Luna chuckled, "I wish he had picked me. Of course I'd feel the same way about having to lie to him about life, so in that part I'm glad it's you. Stop banging your head on the wall. We need to get into place."
"Fine." He heard them walk off.
Harry waited until he could no longer hear their footsteps and voices before he left the cupboard. He opened the door a crack and listened harder. When there were still no other sounds he slipped out and quietly closed the door behind him. He decided to go the opposite way the girls had gone so he peeked around the corner they had come from. He found an empty hall with several doors including one at the opposite end. Slipping quietly down the hall he reached the first door; the sign read 'Wardrobe'. Looking at his clothes he decided they were a dead giveaway, not mention that they stank. Hermione still had his clothes in her bag so he had put his dirty clothes back on after his shower. The cleaning charm he had thrown at them didn't seem to help any. He opened the door and peeked in, not seeing anyone he slipped through the door and closed it quietly. The first rack he saw was labeled Minerva McGonagall. After a bit of searching he found a rack with his name on it. Unfortunately it was filled with the oversized clothes from Dudley and some smaller school robes. He was looking around as he was trying to think of what to do next. He spotted a rack of clothes that was labeled Draco Malfoy. Harry grinned as he walked over to the rack of what was sure to be very nice clothes. He was right in that they were all nice and all approximately his size. However it was also all dress clothes, no jeans, no tennis shoes, nothing that really looked comfortable.
"No wonder he's such a prat. If I had to wear that stuff all the time I'd be in a bad mood too." Harry moved on to find something else to wear. He wandered through the room and upon reaching the back he grinned, "Hello, what do we have here?" The rack was labeled 'Muggle Extras'. Looking it over Harry found a large variety of sizes and styles of muggle clothing, "Surely something from here will fit."
Harry found several things that looked like they would fit. He looked around again before he stripped off the dirty clothes and pulled on the new ones. The jeans were a bit too big so he held onto them as he searched for a slightly smaller size. The next pair of jeans was just a little tighter than he liked but it was better than them falling off. He grabbed a green shirt at first but decided if he was going to hide then a color that matched his eyes was not going to help. Tugging the black t-shirt over his head he moved towards the racks of shoes. His first instinct was to grab a pair of tennis shoes but his hand stopped just before he grabbed them.
"I'm hiding so something I wouldn't normally wear." Harry sighed and changed directions to grab a pair of hiking type shoes. Sitting down he slipped on the new socks he had found and followed them with the shoes. Lastly he grabbed a dark blue cap off a shelf before he felt ready to go. He bent down and grabbed his wand ready to tuck it into the pocket of the jeans. He paused and looked at the piece of wood in his hand. Looking down at his dirty clothes he pointed his wand and tried to banish the clothes. Nothing happened, "Magic isn't real. How did they make it look and feel so real?"
Harry unceremoniously dropped the wand onto the pile of dirty clothes and turned away. When he got to the door he stopped and listened. The hallway seemed to be full of people.
"If he loses me this job I'm going to be really angry." The voice was automatically acquainted with Draco Malfoy.
"Is that all you can think about?" Hermione was the one to speak next he was sure, "He's missing and all you're worried about is your job?"
"Unlike you this is my only job." Draco said, "I don't side line in the summers with modeling contracts and other acting gigs. I'm using that time to get my education. I don't have parents to fall back on."
"Sorry, I'm sorry." Hermione apologized, "It was thoughtless of me to not see your point of view. But surely you make enough to put yourself through university?"
"Yes but I also need a place to live during the summer. I don't get to live at home." He huffed.
"At least you get to leave." She pointed out, "The Dursleys can't leave the island at all."
"I don't get the best treatment when I leave either." He grumbled.
"But you won't be arrested." She sighed, "Harry's parents can't touch the studio but the can sue them for abuse and neglect. It's the only recourse they can get."
"That's their own fault." Harry could hear the sneer in his voice, "What person in their right mind signs a contract without knowing what it says?"
"You know they keep saying their copy didn't say the same thing as the studio's. Don't you think it's suspicious that their copy vanished." She hissed.
"Yes I do. I just can't figure out which one the suspicions should lay on. Did the Potters lose it on purpose or did the studio have it stolen so that they couldn't confirm a difference."
"Based on this whole show thing I'd think it was the studio myself." She whispered.
"Better not let anyone hear you or Ms. Know-it-all Granger will be killed in a death eater attack." Draco hissed, "Then where would I be without you here."
"You could snuggle up to Pansy." She giggled in a very un-Hermioneish way.
"I'd rather snuggle up to Ron than her." Draco sounded disgusted, "I hate being associated with her. At least you get Harry and Ron."
"Harry's great, Ron on the other hand I would rather choke. He loves the arguments far too much." She huffed, "You know he even argues when it's not in the script?"
"He just enjoys getting you riled up. You know he really does like you." Draco said slightly put out, "He doesn't do anything because he knows we're dating." He snickered before continuing, "Could you imagine the plot line changes they would have to make if Draco Malfoy started snogging Hermione Granger on set?"
"I think they'd kill of Draco for it so you better behave. I don't think I could face being here without you in the wings." The way her voice sounded muffled Harry was sure she had buried her face in his chest.
"It may be a moot point." He sighed, "If Harry has found out I'm sure he'll leave. I would."
"It will work out." Her voice clearer like she had pulled back, "You can come live with me, I'm not that far from your uni."
"Living together Ms. Granger?" Draco's voice was filled with false shock, "I don't know if I'm ready for that step. You might take advantage of me."
"You wish." She giggled.
"Enough lovey dovey stuff you two, get into place." Some adult yelled, "You need to be ready when they find him."
"If they find him." Hermione whispered, "I'm sorry but I hope he finds out and ends this."
"Me too." Draco sighed as he moved off, "I'd find some way to finish school."
Harry listened and heard another door close before the hall was filled with silence. Harry slipped out of the room and pulled the cap low on his head thinking to hide his hair, scar and glasses, all which would give him away. Walking quickly yet quietly down the hall he pulled the door at the end open and he peeked in and immediately realized it was too big for him to make sure it was empty. He fully entered the room when he realized no one was near the door but he had to stop and stare in awe. The room was huge and it was full of stuff. He found some of the missing house elves, nearly twenty were stuffed into a corner. They were obviously not living and were directly beside a few of the larger spiders from Aragog's family. A group of centaurs were further down as were small groupings of creatures that he had seen in the wizarding world but couldn't remember their names. A door opened behind him and he looked at the floor hoping he wouldn't be recognized since he couldn't hide fast enough.
"Get out of the way." A voice prompted him to move.
"Sorry." Harry stepped aside keeping his head down.
The man walked over to one of the house elves and reached behind its back. Harry heard a click and saw the elf start to move. The man pushed and then twisted the elf's nose and a panel popped open on the side of its face. Harry very nearly gasped when the man pushed something into the creature before shutting the panel and standing up.
"22756879." The man said and then began on the next one as the elf moved towards the door that the man had left open.
Harry moved off thinking back over what had happened. He wasn't completely stupid and he had listened to many telly programs through the cupboard door. He was sure that what he had seen was the man starting up a few robots made to look like house elves. It made since really, if there was no such thing as magic then there were no such things as magical creatures. Harry began to wonder just how they were pulling off everything. The mechanics behind the moving staircases could be explained easy enough, if they could make a walking talking robot then surely moving a staircase wasn't going to be too difficult. He would probably have to explain the rest away as movie magic. Harry remembered the program that had talked about that. He had been enjoying listening to it until the word 'Magic' was mentioned then, of course, Uncle Vernon had changed channels grumbling about freaks. Finding a bench partway through the room he sat and contemplated what he had found out. Before he could do much a door near him opened and two men walked in talking in hushed whispers.
"If they find you did that you are as good as dead." These were the first word Harry heard from them, but he had no idea which one was talking.
"More like I'd be sued for everything I've got." The voice tickled his memory but it had been a while since he had really heard it.
"If you're still on the island they may actually kill you. They are the law here and no one can dispute your death sentence." Harry tried not to gasp when he realized the voice belonged to Remus.
"He died!" Harry thought wildly, "How can he be alive he died, I saw his body."
"We're both dead anyway." The other man said, "If we can get him out of this it will all be worth it. I love Harry like he was my own son. James and Lily are going crazy worrying about what the next plot will be."
"They won't hurt him, Gary." Remus said as Harry realized that Sirius was the other man, "But I agreed to help you get him out, so any idea where he is?"
"Right here." Harry said before he could think to keep quiet.
The two men turned to him with shock on their faces. Harry stood and pulled the cap up a bit so they could see his face. He then pulled it back down and waited to see what they would do. Both had been frozen in place but Sirius was the first to move. He quickly stepped over to Harry and pulled him into a tight hug.
"You found your way out." He gasped, "I knew you were smart enough to find your way. Did you see my clues?"
"Are you the one that took my hot shower away?" Harry joked, "Because I really wasn't finished with that."
"Um, no I didn't do that." He looked thoughtful.
"How about the stairs stopping half way across the gap to the next platform?"
"Yes that was me." Sirius grinned, "Did you enjoy it?"
"Not really, I'm still a little too tired from the battle to enjoy being jostled around. Who propped open the door in the kitchen?"
"Me." Sirius grinned, "It's one of the few places that you are allowed that has a doorway to the back lot."