Harry stood in the ruins of Hagrid's hut, the one place in all of Hogwarts and Hogsmede that offered solitude from either the mourners or the celebrations. The young wizard surveyed the ruin. At least the fireplace and the most of the furniture were still intact, the hole in the roof and the kitchen, where he had drunk many a cup of tea and hidden dozens of rock cakes, was blackened and rain damaged. With a casual wave of his newly repaired wand a fire sprang to life in the grate, candles lit the room, and the roof was whole and complete. Since his death and resurrection magic was so much easier. He could feel it, it danced and swam across his senses. For years he had been fighting himself, a hurdle to overcome to cast, always lagging behind Hermione. The horcrux was gone and he was now, just Harry. Not everything had changed with the removal of the parasitic soul fragment. Not all of Tom's gifts had gone. The ultimate Gryffindor still had the power of parseltongue but maybe it was one thing he could thank the not so muggle Evans for, his great-great-great grandmother had been a Gaunt after all.

He was free of commitments, and finally Ron and Hermione had left him to his own devices. The rest of the Weasley's had left en mass that morning to return to the Burrow to plan the wake and funeral for Fred. Everyone ignoring George who wanted to organise the wake at WWW in Diagon Alley. Harry had suggested that Fred's friend's should celebrate the pranksters life separately, more to Fred's liking and style. Fred and George had been two of the few who knew the real Harry, the sneaky Slytherin Harry. They, Neville and Luna had know Harry, not the image of the Gryffindor Golden Boy or the Boy-who-Lived. Maintaining his mask had been hard, but to keep some pricacy he had to act his part. It had taken all of Harry's skill to keep Snape from guessing the truth during those blasted Occulmency lessons. He thought he'd been too much of a drama queen in fifth and sixth years to keep everyone away, but no one had seen through his masks, or guessed his plots and plans for independence.

His musing was broken by Kreacher's arrival, he silently observed the elf fix the bed, dress it in clean linens and fix the room enough to make it clean, dry and secure before leaving with a pop. The dutiful elf doing everything with no orders and not a word spoken between them. Their bond was closer to family than mere master and servant. One of the reason's Harry had grown apart from his godfather, Sirius was possibly the most selfish person Harry knew, a hard fact considering the Dursley's. Not even Azkaban had tempered the hotheaded, brazen and short sighted Sirius Black. There, on a conjured small table, was tableware and cutlery, a warm terrine of delicious Kreacher's homemade onion soup, fresh bread and a bottle of wine from the Black Mansion cellar. The simple supper was almost romantic in the flickering candlelight. Harry was glad he had grabbed a shower earlier, even if he could do with a shave, a trip to the barber and some decent clothes.

Harry waited for his future to unfold, the arrival of the person he had promised himself to. He had never been in love with Ginerva Weasley but she had served her purpose of giving the correct impression of a good brave member of the House of Lions, a necessary evil to prevent his 'friends' dosing him with love and lust potions, because no saviour of the wizarding world could be queer. Harry tried to calm himself, his love, his betrothed would be arriving shortly. He had learned so much in fifth year about the fact magically compatible life partners, normal in the magical enclave had nothing to do with the Dursley's idea of acceptable. The idea of a standard family i.e a man and a woman procreating to produce a small family was a purely muggle one. Salazar Slytherin had been bonded to a male wizard, one who had born his heir. Merlin himself had been the child of two males.

He had to admit he was nervous. He had sent three brief messages via Kreacher and spoken a short exchange of words with his bretothed since last June, rather than any meaningful conversation with the person that meant most to him in all the universe. The past ten months had been exile of the worse kind. It had been three years since he had been wooed, Harry's face broke into a wry smile when thinking of the one highlight in fourth year. Not an easy thing when he was the centre of unwanted attention because of that stupid tournament. His love had seen him, noticed the subtle signs of his emerging powers, taken note of the real Harry and had persued him. Harry had not been an easy catch but after the whole pile of crap over of Umbridge, Harry had decided to give his enamored a chance. The betrothal meant he could never be trapped by a magical contract again. The prophecy was one thing he had been left to conclude, but he had done it. He was protected, his new family would protect him. No longer would he have to deal with anyone, the prophecy was now void, Voldemort dead. He did not owe the wizarding world one thing.

Harry took a glass of wine and smelled the aroma of spicy dark fruit, sipping the fine vintage of claret, a bottle worth more than his uncle earned in a week. Harry had educated himself on the little things a man of taste and good breeding was meant to know. He would not embarrass his beloved with any hint of ignorance. He had been so lucky that Hermione was so full of herself she never noted him doing anything except the things she expected. He charmed any book he was reading to appear to be about Quidditch and neither Ronald or the Know-it-all bothered him. He had figured the pairs game plan out in second year. He was used to dumbing himself down for other people's expectations. Next week he would take is NEWTS and not hold back. Poor Hermione was planning on taking seventh year as planned with Ginny. Harry was glad to see the back of the insane asylum that symbolised his years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. To think, for this unwanted, abused and manipulated orphan, that in four weeks, after exams, he would be living in Verona in a palace. He would never want for anything again. He would never have to hide himself, be made to do anything he did not want nor have to dance to anyone's tune again. His beloved would grant him anything within his power or within the stretch of his pocket. All Harry wanted was a home, to be safe, secure, loved.