Minerva McGonagall walked wearily into her office and sat down at her desk, thinking about all that had happened in the last twenty four hours. Voldemort was dead, lots of death eaters were dead, good people were dead, Remus Lupin and his wife Nymphadora Lupin were dead. Fred Weasley and little Colin Creevey were dead and so many others. She had thought Harry was dead for a while and she felt like her heart was breaking when she thought this and fear took over, but luckily he was alive. The war and suffering was over.
'Minerva, I need to talk to you about Harry.' Albus Dumbledore said from his portrait.
Minerva stood and turned to face her old friend. 'Yes Albus, what about Harry?'
'There's a couple of things. First I would like you to go and check on him before I explain about what Harry has been doing these past few months. He's going to have a hard time and he will probably suffer from some of his nightmares. I spoke with him, Hermione and Ron not long after the battle finished. But before I can tell you what about you need to make sure he is alright.'
'Alright Albus,' she looked intensely at him. 'First I have to work out where is he.'
'I believe you will find him in his bed in the Gryffindor tower. Go Minerva and I will wait to speak with you.'
Minerva nodded and left her office making her way to the Gryffindor common room. She heard noises coming from up towards the boys dormitories and made her way upstairs. She opened the door and saw Harry thrashing about on his bed. She ran over and sat beside him, putting her hands on his shoulders to try and stop his movements.
'Harry, Harry wake up.' Minerva called and tapped his face. 'Harry, Harry.' she kept calling as she lightly tapped him.
Harry slowed his movements and blinked a few times. 'What's going on?' Harry opened his eyes and saw Professor McGonagall sitting beside him. 'Professor, is something wrong?' he said as he sat up.
'You were having a nightmare Harry, are you okay?' she asked kindly.
'Yes Professor, I'm fine.' Harry shrugged.
'Albus asked me to come check on you, he said you'd probably be having nightmares. He wants to talk to me about what you have been up to but not until I checked on you first.'
Harry couldn't help the small smile that came to his face at the thought of his old headmaster worrying about him. 'He knows me well, doesn't he Professor.' Harry said and he put his glasses on and stood up.
'Yes he did and he cared for you very much Harry.' Minerva stood and watched as Harry walked towards the window and stood there staring out.
'Just like I cared for him,' Harry felt his throat close up as he turned away, then a thought came to him, the same one he had while he was sleeping. 'Professor, I was wondering if I could ask you a favour.'
'You can ask Harry and I will do my best to help. Is this favour about what you have been doing and what Albus wants to talk to me about?'
'Sort of, actually no.' Harry turned back around and faced her. 'I was wondering if you might tell Charlie Weasley to come speak to me and I don't want anyone to know he is. Not even the rest of the Weasley's.'
'Very mysterious Harry, but I will go speak with him. Harry about what Albus is going to tell me. Is it about what you had to find that belonged to Rowena Ravenclaw, her lost diadem?'
'Yes, it's about that and more Professor.' Harry thought for a moment. 'I think you should get Kingsley and speak with Professor Dumbledore together and there is also a memory in the pensieve in your office. You both should watch that as well. But please Professor, I don't want anyone else to know what you find out. Ron and Hermione know most, but they don't know about the memory. They can fill you in with some answers to your questions. I really don't want to talk about it, not for a while anyway. You could let them know to watch the memory as well. They know I have it but not what it contains.'
Minerva watched Harry as he spoke and knew he was going to need a lot of time to get over everything he had been through.
'Alright Harry. I'll get Kingsley, Ron and Hermione to come to my office as soon as I speak with Charlie Weasley. Will you be still here?'
'For a while Professor.'
'Alright Harry. I'll send Charlie straight up.' Minerva gave Harry a small smile and left the dormitory and walked down the stairs, out the portrait hole and made her way down to the great hall. She saw all the Weasley's still crowded around Fred Weasley's body and she felt terrible for the pain they were in. She made her way over to them and tapped Charlie on the shoulder. 'Can I speak with you for a moment Charlie?'
He nodded and followed her away from everyone else. 'What can I do for you Minerva?'
'Harry, he asked if you would go speak with him in the Gryffindor dormitory, but he doesn't want anyone to know, not even your family.' Charlie looked at her with a puzzled expression. 'I don't know Charlie, he just asked me to come and see you.'
'Okay, I'll go up now before the family head home.' Charlie nodded and left the great hall and made his way up to the Gryffindor common room. The fat lady opened straight away and he stepped in and looked around. He hadn't been in here for years but it still looked the same. He walked upstairs and looked in the different rooms until he found Harry standing near the window staring out. 'Harry.' Charlie said as he walked in.
'Hey Charlie,' Harry said quietly as he turned around.
'You okay mate?' Charlie asked as he walked towards him.
'Not really, but I will be. I need to ask you a couple of things. I know it won't be straight away, but do you know when you're planning on returning to Romania?'
Charlie looked at Harry in surprise, wondering why he was asking this. 'I'm not quite sure just yet Harry. I'll probably stay here for a couple of weeks with the family. Losing Fred is going to be hard on all of us, but mum, dad and George are going to have a hard time.'
'Yeah,' Harry said and he felt tears come to his eyes and tried to blink them away. He wiped his face on his sleeve as he felt some fall down his face.
'Why Harry, why are you wondering about when I'm going home?'
Harry took a deep breath, then sighed. 'I need to get away from here for a while and I was hoping that I could stay with you. I have to get out of England, get right away from here.'
'Of course you can Harry,' Charlie said puzzled, 'but I really don't understand, but you can stay as long as you want.'
'Thanks Charlie, I'm going to stay at Grimmauld Place until you go. I really don't want to see anyone. I will go…' Harry took another deep breath, 'to the funerals, Fred, Remus and Tonks, but then I can't stay here. I'll pay my own way I just need to figure out if I can get to my vaults. I don't think the goblins will let me back in after I broke in there and destroyed half the building.'
'I heard rumours about that. You escaped on the back of a dragon with Ron and Hermione.'
'Yeah, we did. I had to get something from a vault and a goblin named Griphook helped. I got what I needed but we were found out and we released the dragon, jumped on its back and helped it escape. It was half blind, we left it on the side of a lake somewhere. It looked happy to be out.' Harry gave Charlie a small smile.
'Why don't you talk to Kingsley about Gringotts, see if he can help. He's here at the moment, I saw him talking to Minerva.'
'Yeah, I might. Thanks Charlie, I'll let you get back to your family. Can you let me know when you are heading home? Oh, could you not mention this to anyone, not even Ron or Hermione. I'll let them know when I'm ready.'
'Sure Harry. You don't look too good Harry, are you sure you're okay?'
'I'm fine Charlie, just tired.'
'Okay, I'll talk to you later then.' Charlie nodded and left the dormitory.
Harry thought he might need to speak with Kingsley about getting into Gringotts and decided to do it straight away. He walked out of the Gryffindor common room and made his way to the headmistress' office and saw the door open.
'Can I come in Professor?'
'Of course Harry,' Minerva said as she looked at him and Kingsley stood up. 'What can I do for you Harry?'
'Actually I need to talk to you Kingsley, about Gringotts. I'm going to need to get into my vault but I don't think the goblins will let me back in.'
'I've spoken to them already Harry. You can go anytime. The ministry took care of everything.' Kingsley smiled at Harry.
'Took care of everything, what's everything?'
'The damage that was caused, the ministry paid the goblins for that.'
'I could have taken care of that myself if you would have told me.'
'No Harry. It's the least the ministry could do for you. Anyway, you can go to Gringotts whenever you like. But Minerva was just telling me about this memory you want me to watch and that Albus, Ron and Hermione will be able to answer the questions in regards to it. Is there anything you'd like to tell me Harry, why you're here?'
'No, just that it will answer a lot of questions. Maybe even questions you haven't thought of yet. Once you see the memory, you will understand more. I will say this though, you and Minerva will probably be two people who will know what I'm talking about, not a lot of people would have heard about it. But do you know what a horcrux is?' Harry said and saw the looks on both their faces and knew he was right. 'Yeah, thought so. Watch the memory, then you'll understand.' Harry nodded and left the office.
'He sounds so down and he looks terrible.' Kingsley said looking at Minerva.
'Yes, he does.' she turned and faced the portrait. 'Horcrux Albus, is that what you and Harry have been doing?'
'Yes Minerva. Voldemort made seven of them,' he saw the shocked looked on their faces. 'One he never meant to make, even though he was planning on making seven. I was able to destroy one, Harry, Ron and Hermione and from what I heard Neville destroyed the rest. Watch the memory first Minerva, then I will be able to explain more.'
'We're just waiting for Ron and Hermione to arrive, Harry told me they know about all this, but never saw the memory. He wants them to see it as well.'
'Yes, they will also be able to tell you about all this as well. One thing I will tell you Minerva, is that Severus was really on our side. I planned my death with him, it's all in the memory as well. So when you have seen it, it might be wise to retrieve his body from the shrieking shake.'
'Who's memory is it Albus?'
'It's Severus' memory. He gave it to Harry right before he died. Looks like you're other guests have arrived. I'll let you talk to them, then I will answer your questions.' Albus Dumbledore nodded.
'Professor McGonagall, you wanted to talk to us.' Hermione said as she stepped into the office with Ron.'
'Yes, Harry asked me to speak with the both of you. He wants us all to watch the memory that is in the pensieve and he said you would be able to answer some questions. He told us about the horcrux, but not anything else. He said you and Albus will be able to explain more.'
Hermione and Ron looked at each other and nodded. They turned back to face their headmistress.
'Harry got that from Professor Snape. We don't know what it contains. After we got it, Ron and I went back to be with his family. That was the last we saw of Harry, until Hagrid carried him out of the forbidden forest. Do you think the memory is why he went in there Professor?' Hermione asked.
'Yes Miss Granger, that's exactly why Harry went into the forest.' Albus said looking down at her. 'Watch the memory, then you will understand why he never told you.'
'Alright Professor,' Hermione said.
'Why don't I bring out the memory instead of us all going in? We use that technique in the auror office.' Kingsley said looking around and got nods from the three others. He walked over to the pensieve why Minerva closed her door and sealed it. Kingsley waved his wand at the pensieve and the four of them watched the memory.
Harry picked up his invisibility cloak, and slipped it on. He didn't want to talk to anyone or have people stare at him again as he left. He made his way down the stairs and out the door, walking down the long driveway and through the gates which were still hanging loose, broken by giants and death eaters. He looked back at the castle and saw all the damage and he felt the tears come into his eyes again. He loved this place, but right now he couldn't stay and it was a mess. He shook his head and apparated away arriving a few seconds later near the Leaky Cauldron. He knew he'd have to take the cloak off now and hoped he could get through without to many people stopping him or staring.
Harry pulled the cloak off and put it inside a pocket of his jacket and walked to the door of the Leaky Cauldron. He took a deep breath and walked in. People stared the moment he stepped inside and the place went silent. He walked to the back and hoped he didn't get stopped. He tapped the bricks and walked through into Diagon Alley. Harry looked and saw the large white building and started to walk towards it. Keeping his head down and hoped he could get back out as quickly as he got in.
Harry walked up the steps and the two goblins guarding the doors gave him suspicious looks, but they opened the doors and Harry walked straight over to the counter.
'I'd like to visit my vault please.' Harry said to the goblin.
'Of course Mr. Potter, as long as that's all you do.'
'That's all.' Harry said nodded to the goblin and he summoned another goblin.
'Take Mr. Potter to his vault please, which vault Mr. Potter?'
'Just the Potter family vault,' Harry said knowing he will need to see the one Sirius left him one day.
'Follow me Mr. Potter.' the goblin said and Harry followed him. They got into the cart and made their way down the long winding tracks until they stopped outside Harry's vault. He handed his key to the goblin and stepped out. As soon as the goblins opened the door, Harry stepped in and looked around. He thought it looked fuller then the last time he was here. He went and picked up a heap of gold, more than he'd ever taken before. He filled a small bag with galleons, sickles and knuts. He left the vault, getting back into the cart and they made their way back up to the main floor of Gringotts.
'Will there be anything else, Mr. Potter?'
'No, thank you.' Harry said then had a thought. 'Yes actually. The black family vault that I inherited, is there a list of what's in there?'
'That vault has been renamed after you came of age. It is now called the Harry Potter vault as there is already a Potter family vault and yes, there is a list of everything the vault contains. Would you like a copy Mr. Potter?'
'Yes, thank you.' Harry said and the goblins snapped his fingers and thick pack of parchments appeared and he handed them to Harry.
'That will show everything in the Harry Potter vault.'
'Thank you.' Harry nodded and walked towards the doors as another goblin opened them. The moment Harry stepped out he saw heaps of people at the bottom of the steps, reporters with them. Harry walked down the steps as they all started shouting questions at him but he ignored everyone and made his way back through the archway with them all following him, still shouting questions. Harry quickened his pace and stepped out of the Leaky Cauldron and quickly turned on the spot and apparated away. As soon as he arrived in the park across the street from Grimmauld Place, he took a deep breath. He looked around, seeing no one so he quickly walking across and up the steps and tapped the door with his wand. It opened and he made his way inside and waited until the voice of Mad-Eye Moody spoke. 'I never killed you Dumbledore.' Harry said quietly, then took another step and saw the smoky figure before his tongue rolled up for a few seconds.
Harry walked down the hallway, then turned back to face the door and something occurred to him. He pulled the other wand from his rucksack, pointed it and then waved it in an intricate patter.
'There, hopefully I won't need to hear, see or feel that again.' Harry said and turned back around and walked up the stairs into Sirius old bedroom. It was a mess, the death eaters must have gotten in after Ron, Hermione and himself got out of the ministry. He waved his wand and fixed the place up, then put his clothes away. Some were so bad he just chucked them out and thought, he was going to have to go buy some more. For now he just wanted some peace and quiet. He walked back down stairs and went into the kitchen. 'Kreacher.' Harry called.
'How can Kreacher serve Master Harry?'
'Hi Kreacher, could you make me something to eat and if I get you some gold, maybe stock up on some food?'
'Of course Master Harry and its good to see you are alright.'
'Thanks and Kreacher, Master Regulus would have been very proud of you when you led the Hogwarts house elves into the battle. I'm proud of you myself.' Harry smiled at the old elf.
'Thank you Master Harry. I fought for my Master Harry and for my Master Regulus. I will get your food now.' the elf bowed and went about his duties.
Harry went into the living room and sat down, putting his head back and closing his eyes, thinking about all the people who had lost their lives and he couldn't help the tears that started to fall, but this time, he let them fall.
'Here's your food master Harry and I brought pumpkin juice as well.' Kreacher placed a tray down on the small table near Harry, then bowed.
'Thanks Kreacher.' Harry smiled again and picked up the glass and drank half of the juice, then ate his sandwich. When he finished he sat back again, closing his eyes. He knew Ron and Hermione would be mad at him for not telling them he was leaving but he just needed to get completely away from everyone and everything. There were just too many memories, too many deaths and too many people wanting to ask him questions.
Back at Hogwarts in the headmistress' office. Kingsley, Minerva, Ron and Hermione sat down all looking shocked.
'He had to let Voldemort kill him, oh poor Harry.' Hermione said as she started to cry and Ron put his arm around her shoulder.
'Yes, it was the only way for the piece of Voldemorts soul inside him could be destroyed, but how did he survive, again?' Kingsley asked but not really expecting an answer.
'Love Kingsley,' Albus said from his portrait. 'The love his mother had for him, that protected him when she sacrificed herself and the love Harry has inside himself, that saved him.'
'So you're wand, is the elder wand Albus?' Minerva asked.
'Yes, but it's now Harry's wand. On the night I died, Draco Malfoy did disarm me, because I was very weak. He wouldn't have killed me, both Harry and I knew that. So Draco was the owner of the wand, but then Harry beat him, so Harry is now the owner of the wand. That must be kept between us though. If death eaters found out, they would go after Harry to get the wand and I think we're all agreed that he has suffered enough.'
'Yes he has. And you were right Albus. When I went and saw him before, he was having a nightmare. I think he will have those for a while with everything we've just found out that he went through. How did he have the courage to walk to his death?'
'Harry will protect everyone he cares about and if that meant he had to die to do it, he would.' Ron said looking up at everyone. 'He wouldn't have wanted anyone else to die, so if he could stop it, even if it meant dying, then he would have found the courage to do it, just like he has always found the courage when he needed it.'
'Yes, he is a remarkable young man.'
'I'm sorry Professor, but I have to go. Dad said we're all leaving to take Fred…' Ron said and he felt his throat close up and Hermione took his hand.
'Yes of course Ron and I'm very sorry about Fred. Please tell your parents for me.' Minerva looked sadly at him.
'I will Professor.' Ron stood and giving Minerva and Kingsley a small smiled and he left with Hermione.
'Do you think Harry will suffer because of all this Albus?' Kingsley asked.
'Yes, that's why he has asked Charlie Weasley something that will upset his friends. Something he doesn't want anyone to know but I think it is the best thing for him.'
'What's that?' Kingsley asked.
'He asked if he could stay at Charlie's place in Romania, he wants to leave England for a while. He said he needed to get away. I believe that is the only way for him to heal right now. There are too many memories and reminders of what he has lost. It's too bad that Charlie won't be going for a few weeks. He wants to stay with his family through this emotional time.'
'You really think Harry leaving is best for him Albus, not staying and having his friends around him?'
'No, even his friends are reminders of what he had to do and what he has lost. He needs time to heal his heart and his soul. I do not know how much time he would need, just that he needs time.'
'Well, I could speak with Charlie. Find out if Harry could go before him. See what he has to say and then Kingsley, maybe you could organise an international port key for him.'
'No problem Minerva, I could do that anytime.'
'Speak with Charlie Minerva. I really think the longer he stays here, the worse he will get. He needs peace and quiet and he won't get that here unless he never leaves Grimmauld Place and becomes a hermit.'
'Is that where he is and how do you know what he asked Charlie?'
'I have the portraits around the place let me know things, especially about Harry.'
Minerva smiled at her old friend. 'You were always able to find out things Albus, now I know how. I'll go speak with Charlie before they leave. If he has already I'll send him an owl.' Minerva got up and so did Kingsley and they both made their way down to the great hall. Minerva saw the Weasley's and they both went over to them. 'Charlie, I know you're about to leave, but could I have a word with you, in private?'
'Of course Minerva,' Charlie said and they moved away from everyone. 'What can I do for you?'
'Harry, I know he asked you if he could go to Romania and stay with you for a while and that he doesn't want anyone to know. I was speaking with Albus after we found out a few things. We really believe he needs to get away for a while to heal. He has gone through some terrible things and if he stays here, he won't heal or just become a hermit.'
'Oh, okay. I did tell him he could stay for as long as he wanted, but I won't be leaving for a couple of weeks.'
'Yes I know. But what Kingsley and I want to ask you is if you would allow Harry to go now. Kingsley can organise an international port key for him.'
'I know Voldemort thought he was dead and so did everyone else. Is that part of what you're talking about, what he went through?' Charlie asked looking worried.
'Yes, listen Charlie, we will tell you because if he's staying with you. You might be able to help if he needs it. He might not need anything apart from being away from here. So will you allow him to go to your place now?'
'Of course I will Minerva. I'll give you the name and address of my place so you can organise the port key.'
Kingsley waved his wand and produced parchment and quill and handed it to Charlie.
'One more thing Charlie, after you go with your family, if you could get away just for a little while, go and tell Harry yourself. If he knew we asked, he would feel guilty that we're all worrying about him. He's at Grimmauld Place now.'
'Yes he told me he was going to stay there. I'll tell him, how long will the port key take Kingsley?'
'I'll leave straight away and it should be done in an hour. So if you come here and pick it up before you see Harry, then you can give it to him.'
'No problem, I'll get home for a while and see you again soon.' Charlie shook both Kingsley and Minerva's hands and went back to his family.
Kingsley and Minerva went back to her office and Kingsley flooed straight to the ministry and Minerva went back to organise how to start getting the castle rebuilt. Everyone was in for some long days over the next couple of months.