Harry was awake but he just couldn't get his eyes to cooperate with his brain. It seemed to be taking all the energy he had just to pry them open. He finally gave up and took a deep breath trying to fight off his frustration. The smell that assaulted his nose told him he was in his second most hated room in the whole castle, the hospital. The potions classroom was the most hated.
"What did I do this time?" he wondered to himself as he groaned.
"Mr. Potter, are you awake?" Madam Pomfrey was already on to him he realized.
"Hmm…" was the only sound that came out and he noted that he was also too tired to talk.
"I'm taking that as a yes." She chuckled, "You've been pretty banged up so don't try to move much. I'm going to give you a sleep potion so you can rest some more."
"Hmmk." he managed to actually move his mouth that time and swallowed dutifully when his head was raised and a potion was poured into his mouth.
He drifted off again. The next time he woke up he was able to open his eyes. Of course he closed them right away when he found the room far too bright. He noted several things right away; most important he was still in the hospital, his mouth tasted like… he couldn't think of anything that tasted that nasty so he went on to admit that his whole body ached. Slowly he tried to move an arm, he succeeded but not without a groan from the pain.
"Back again? I've dimed the lights." Pomfrey was by his bed smiling, "Are you doing better?"
"Hmink so." He mumbled.
"Are you in pain?" She asked.
"Hmm." He tried to nod but only managed it once.
"I need a few questions answered before I give you a potion ok?" he nodded once more, "Do you know where you are?" after another nod he groaned lowly, "Just blink once for no and twice for yes. Do you remember what happened?" he blinked once, "There was a battle at Hogwarts." This he remembered and blinked twice, "Do you remember defeating You-Know-Who?" two more blinks and she then gave him his potion, "Good, in case you are wondering you collapsed in the Great Hall while people were trying to thank you. We managed to bring you here and keep the media out. We also kept out anyone you didn't know. You've had several visitors including Minister Shacklebolt, your teachers and several friends."
"Hmm long?" he muttered.
"Two weeks and you'll be here a while longer." she stressed, "Don't try to leave or I'll tie you to the bed and keep you here longer than necessary."
"K." he didn't have the energy to argue let alone escape.
"Do you feel like eating?" she asked.
He frowned and touched his jaw. She ran her wand over it and found a small fracture she hadn't noticed before.
"Sorry missed that. You had several broken ribs, one of which had punctured a lung. Fractures in many of your bones; cuts, scrapes and bruises scattered all over. However your chest seems to have taken the worst of it. There is a huge bruise and I had to remove several ribs so you had to grow them back. The damage on them was very odd, almost like the bone had died. Do you have any idea what hit you there?"
"Kill." He was beginning to tire again so he closed his eyes.
"Do you mean the killing curse?" she gasped.
"Hmm." he nodded as he slipped off to sleep.
The next time he woke he felt a lot better, still in a lot of pain but not as much as before. He wondered what woke him but didn't have to guess long as voices began to filter though to his brain.
"…killing curse is what he said." Pomfrey's voice he recognized, "He has woke up twice and should wake up again soon. He had a pain potion last time and was able to talk a bit. He had a fractured jaw that I missed the first time."
"I'm not surprised with the amount of injuries he had." The deep voice of Kingsley was somewhat soothing to Harry, "How long until he can give testimony?"
"I'd think a few more days at the least. I can't believe anyone would attempt to sue him like this." She sounded angry, "He can't be everywhere at once."
"Percy I can almost understand since he never cared much for Harry, but the others floor me." Kingsley grumbled.
"It is shocking but not as much as you think." Minerva's voice entered the conversation for the first time, "I never thought they treated him like they should have. It wouldn't surprise me if this all came down to some sort of manipulation to get famous like him. I never liked how most people dealt with Harry, Albus being the worst. I didn't do that well for him myself, I'm ashamed to say. I've let him down too many times and I refuse to do it any longer."
"Thanks." Harry mumbled as he opened his eyes and slurred, "What's going on?"
"Thank goodness you're awake." Minerva approached his bed, "Are you feeling better?"
"Much, who is suing me?" he asked as he tried to sit up.
Pomfrey scuttled over and lifted up the head of his bed, "Are you hungry?"
"Starving." He whispered, "And thirsty, mouth tastes nasty."
"I bet." She chuckled, "Here's some water."
"Thanks." He sipped some and swished his mouth before swallowing. He then looked directly as Kingsley waiting for the answer to his previous question.
"Percy, Ron, Hermione and Ginny are suing you for the wrongful death of Fred." Kingsley sighed.
"What does that mean?" he asked his face full of confusion.
"It means they don't think you did enough to ensure his safety." Kingsley sighed, "They say you were negligent in your dealings with him."
"What do the rest of them say?" Harry wondered how much of his family he had lost.
"George is catatonic and Molly isn't much better. Arthur is so busy with the two of them that he doesn't know which way is up so I don't think he knows about the lawsuit. Charlie had to go back to Romania right after the battle because he left there with no notice. He's supposed to return in a week or so for an extended holiday. Bill and Fleur have been at Gringotts nearly twelve hours a day helping to repair the damage you three caused. Which reminds me Gringotts is suing you for damages and is calling for your arrest for breaking in, stealing a priceless cup and then destroying the place as you left."
Harry nodded his head. The goblin lawsuit didn't surprise him, "Do they know a Goblin helped us get in?"
"No, I don't think so." Kingsley drew out the answer, "That should help you in the long run. We will need to know why you felt the need to rob the bank."
"Horcrux stored in the vault." He yawned around his reply.
"You-Know-Who made a horcrux and hid it at the bank?" Kingsley gasped.
"Hmm." Harry nodded, "But that was just one of them, he made more."
"What is that?" Poppy asked and Kingsley explained.
"That's the task Albus left you." Minerva gasped in understanding, "How many did he make?"
"Seven." Harry's stomach gave a loud grumble as he began to list the items.
"Oh, let me get you some food." Poppy slipped away.
"How did you kill them?" Kingsley was sure he could get Gringotts off Harry's back now.
"Mostly basilisk venom."
"Where did you get it?" Minerva was nearly ready to have a nervous breakdown.
"Chamber of Secrets." Harry answered automatically, "Originally anyway."
"That's why you came to the school?" she asked, "To go down and destroy them?"
"No." Harry sighed as Pomfrey sat a plate down on his table. He began to eat and continued to answer between bites, "We used the venom for all but one and that one got caught in fiend fire."
"Fiend fire?" Minerva was sure she was gaping like an idiot.
"Crabbe started it in the room of requirement." He shrugged, "I think it should be out by now."
"How did you carry the venom with you?" Kinsley said, "There isn't much that can hold it without dissolving."
"No we had the sword." He replied, "At least until the night of the battle. Then Ron and Hermione went down to the chamber and grabbed the teeth so we could kill the cup we got from Gringotts."
"The sword of Gryffindor?" Harry nodded at Minerva's question, "You didn't have it at the battle?"
"No, we had to give it to Griphook in payment for his help to get us through the bank and down into the vault. We didn't think to include an escape in the deal unfortunately."
"You paid a Goblin to get you into the vault?" Kingsley grinned, "Did he know you were going to take something?" Harry nodded because his mouth was full, "Well if we can prove that you'll have no problem with the Goblins."
"I'll give testimony under truth potion." Harry shrugged.
"Now what happened when Fred died?" Kingsley pushed a little.
"We had just escaped the fiend fire and came upon Percy and Fred fighting against a few death eaters." Harry started.
"Who was with you?" he asked.
"Ron, Hermione and I." he answered, "We fought with them for a few minutes before the wall beside us was blown in. Fred was dead when we pulled ourselves out of the rubble. I don't know how I was supposed to save him when I didn't have time to even throw up a shield of any sort."
"Where was Ginny during this?" he asked.
"I don't know." He shrugged, "We had to kick her out of the room so we could change it to get to the diadem."
"Is that the room we reached from the Hogshead?" Kingsley asked.
"Yes, that's the room of requirement. If no one is in it you can change it. The room we needed was the room where things are hidden." He replied then took a drink of pumpkin juice, "Anyway after we finished in there we came out and she wasn't around any longer."
"They won't get anywhere with their lawsuit." Kingsley nodded, "So don't worry. Since Poppy won't let you out we'll come back and get a veritaserum deposition from you. I'll have to word the questions just right so that too much information doesn't get out. I don't really want to let dark wizards know you can split your soul six times."
"Seven." Harry corrected, "He made seven horcruxes and then the piece in his body."
"Just you or do you need witnesses?" Minerva asked as she came down from her shock at Harry's statement.
"I'll have to have several aurors at least. However I can expect a few members of the Wizengamot will request to be present during your testimony."
"No wands allowed in, except yours." Harry sighed as he pushed his nearly empty plate away, "I don't want anyone to hex me and you are the only one I trust."
"I really can't blame you for that."
Later that day Poppy brought him a stack of newspapers, "Are you sure you want to see this garbage?"
"Best to be prepared." He said, "Information is knowledge even if it's only knowledge of the junk they are printing. I didn't know what they were printing before my fifth year so I was unprepared for the welcome I received when I got here."
"Alright but don't say I didn't warn you." She grumbled.
She was right. Most of it was junk but that was ok he needed to know what people were being told to think. He held no illusions that they would suddenly start thinking for themselves now that Voldemort was gone. For the most part he was being held up as the hero, though they were worried about his health and their guesses on that were all over the place. The two lawsuits were given prominence with waffling opinions floating about. The picture in the paper of the four traitors showed faces that looked extremely sad; the eyes however told Harry a very different story. Hermione could never hide that calculating look from him. He always knew when she was working on something and she was working hard on this. Ron and Ginny's eyes both looked hard and angry; he didn't know Percy well enough to know what he was thinking.
Minerva entered and interrupted his reading, "Catching up on the rubbish I see."
"Don't want to get caught out like in my fifth year." He replied, "Been there, done that, have the t-shirt."
Minerva chuckled, "Kingsley will be back in the morning for your deposition."
"I guess I better sleep then." He glanced out the dark windows, "I think tomorrow will be here far too quickly."
The group arrived right after breakfast and ten people watched Kingsley administer the potion and ask questions that had been deemed important. It took two hours but he managed to answer all of them. He was already falling asleep as they were being escorted out. Harry was relieved none of them seemed to think too badly of him. When he woke up for lunch Madam Pomfrey was waiting with a plate ready.
"Yes thank you." He grinned taking the offering and began to eat right away, "When do you think I can escape?"
"By the weekend I'd say. You're progressing faster than I expected." She commented.
"I've always healed pretty fast." He shrugged, "Did Kingsley say when the lawsuit would be heard?"
"No but I think it was in this morning's paper." She handed it to him.
On the front page was a picture of the group that was selected to attend his deposition. The date was stated as Friday afternoon, five days to wait. Sighing he tossed the paper aside and dug into his lunch. His week passed fairly slowly and on Friday morning Madam Pomfrey grinned as he awakened.
"I'm going to release you tonight. But we won't know that until I give you your checkup. Unfortunately I'm far too busy to give it this morning so you still can't make it to court."
"I think I can stand one more day with you." He agreed with a large smile.
He'd stay in the hospital another week if it kept him from having to attend these court cases. They started at one in the afternoon and Harry was ready to leave when Poppy released him at one thirty.
"You shouldn't see anyone in the halls but I'd keep your cloak close at hand just in case." Poppy informed him, "I assume you're staying in the tower tonight?"
"Yes but not Gryffindor." Harry stretched, "Professor McGonagall agrees that Ravenclaw will be better in case reporters sneak in and go looking for me. If they question you please tell them I've left."
"I will." She sighed, "Come back if you have any discomfort."
"I feel fine really." He grinned as he pulled on his cloak, "But I'll return if I think I need to."
"No, return if I think you need to." She huffed, "You wouldn't think you needed to be here if you had two broken legs."
"I'm fine." His disembodied voice called as he opened the door and left.
Kingsley had promised to retrieve his rucksack from Hermione during the trial. Harry was sure it was still in her beaded bag along with the horcruxes and the new tent Bill had given them. When his day was done Kingsley would be coming to visit him and McGonagall and he would fill them in on the outcome of the lawsuits. That evening he was wandering around under his cloak waiting for the time of their meeting. It was nearing the time when he ran across the Headmistress by the entrance doors.
"What do you want?" she asked curtly after she had opened the door to a knock.
Harry edged closer so he could hear. He almost yelped when Hermione's voice announced, "We want to visit with Harry."
"He is no longer with us." McGonagall spat, "Now if you'll excuse me I have a meeting to attend."
She turned, shutting the door firmly behind her and stomped away. Harry pulled out the one remaining extendable ear he had and slipped the end through the crack at the bottom of the door. It was silent so he decided they must have left. He began to pull it back when he heard movement and then a voice.
"Did she say he's no longer with us?" Hermione gasped.
"He died?" Ginny's voice was slightly high pitched.
"I wonder if he ever changed the will Dumbledore told us about." Ron sounded excited.
"What will?" Percy asked.
"He had a will written up and somehow got Harry to sign it. It says all his wealth is to be divided between the three of us and Dumbledore." Ginny stated, "We didn't even need that lawsuit."
"Should we go to Gringotts tomorrow?" Ron asked.
"No." Hermione said, "We need to be surprised about it. We'll just go home and wait for Gringotts to send us a letter."
"I want some of it." Percy sounded whiney.
"You're going to get the twins shop what more do you want?" Ron asked, "Just hurry up and help George get with Fred and you'll get it. He's already signed the change in their will. Let's just get home and see if Mum is cooking tonight, I'm starving."
"You're always starving." Ginny said, "Mum still isn't doing well so I doubt she's cooking. We might as well just go to the Three Broomsticks and be done with it."
"I can't wait until we get the money." Ron grumbled as they turned away, "I love Mums cooking but I get so tired hearing about poor Harry I could just choke."
Mumbled agreements followed him as they all turned to go. Harry sat on the floor with the end still stuck in his ear. Tears were slipping down his face unchecked as he whispered George's name over and over. He had no idea how long he sat there before he roused himself and headed off through the castle not paying any attention to where he was going.