Harry Potter was sitting on the sandstone steps leading to the damaged castle. Even though there was people everywhere, some like Hagrid and Grawp who were dragging huge trees into a large pile, those trees had been pull out by the roots by the giants. Other people were clearing away rubble; some people were carrying more dead bodies inside. But Harry wasn't watching the people, he's eyes remained on the forbidden forest. After everyone stopped thanking him, Harry used his cloak to sneak away, he went back inside the forest, found the stone and spoke with his parents and Sirius.
They told Harry if the decision he had made was right for him, then they supported him. They said everyone had to be true to themselves.
As Harry thought of that conversation, he remembered when he first realised that something about him was not right, it took a lot of thinking before he worked out what was wrong. Those months in the tent gave Harry a lot of time to think, whenever they needed to clear their heads of horcruxes and the sword. They would talk of other things, but Harry left Hermione and Ron to talk while he would walk and think about what he figured out.
The one thing Harry knew for certain was if he decided to be true to himself, if the war was ever over, then he would need to leave, at least for a while. He would probably leave for a year or two, maybe longer, a lot longer. If he decided to come back, he knew no one would recognise him; that was his plan and his hope. He only thought about returning because he did love places like Diagon alley and Hogsmeade. He had fought and bled for this country and he wanted to live in a place he liked. So even though it might be a risk, a small risk, he would probably return, but not until he went through with what he needed.
With his mind made up, he knew he could never tell his friends that he was leaving or the reason behind it. He did not think they would approve or even let him go. Harry wasn't sure so he decided that no one would know. He would send his friends a letter and try to explain that he needed to get away, it was time he could grieve for Sirius and his parents. He wanted this time to do just that, but it would also give him time to change.
'We were wondering where you were Harry.'
Harry glanced over his shoulder just as Hermione and Ron sat down, 'Resting, thinking.'
'Dad wants us to head home, are you coming?' Ron asked.
'I still have to put that back and I need to speak with McGonagall and Kingsley. They need to understand a few things. So if you give me a day or two, then I will, if it's okay that is?'
'Yeah, you always stay there. I know it's different now, but we've all got time to work out our lives. I'm still having trouble believing it's over.'
'I get you there Ron. I keep thinking this is a dream and I'll wake up to find him still here. I saw Kingsley earlier, they took his body away. I sort of had to check to make sure he really was dead.'
'What did you do?' Hermione asked cautiously.
'Took his hand and placed his finger against my scar. I had to know if I would feel anything, I didn't.'
'Good to know, that scar of yours was like a warning when it came to him. But I need to ask since you won't be there straight away. I'm sure mum and dad will want to know what happened, how it happened, what we were doing. Is it alright to explain?'
'Yes, they deserve to know the truth about everything, they supported me even with the danger. They never turned their back on me. So even though I really hate thinking about what had been inside me, tell them so they will understand. Make sure you tell them though that if I would have known, I would have surrendered to him sooner.'
'It's lucky we got to Snape in time,' Hermione said.
'Yeah, it is, but I'm glad he survived. He might be in for a long recovering and Madame Pomfrey was not sure if he's voice will ever be the same, but he survived. I think my mum would be proud of him, I think even my dad would be.'
'He really surprised all of us, no one knew the truth about him. So many secrets, so many lies, I just hope that all stops now. Anyway, we better go, we'll see you in a few days.'
'You will,' Harry hated lying to his friend, but he knew they wouldn't understand. He watched them head back into the castle before he stood, stretched and headed inside. He thought he should eat before leaving, so he went down to the kitchens where Kreacher instantly made him a sandwich and a cup of tea, but he also put a glass of juice in front of him, 'Thanks Kreacher, but you aren't hurt, are you?'
'Kreacher is fine master Harry, some elves are hurt, but not seriously.'
'I didn't expect any of you to fight, but thank you, all of you, I'm proud of what you did,' Harry smiled at all the elves who were watching him and he smiled again when they smiled at him. Harry finished eating, thanked Kreacher again then left the kitchens and headed back up into the main part of the castle to find the two people that needed the truth.
Even though everyone was tired, sore and had some type of injury, Kingsley and Minerva followed Harry to Dumbledore's office where Harry had them watch the memory. While they were doing that, he wrote a long letter explaining more, 'Fill them in Dumbledore, tell them everything.'
'I will Harry, but what are you going to do now you do not have to worry about Tom?'
'I need to get away for a while, I'm not sure how long. But I did want to ask you this, the house, can I get in there?'
'Yes, I enchanted it to your magical signature and the damaged roof is also enchanted.'
'Thanks, the last thing I want to do is be seen, so I'm going to take some of my father's clothes. I know Sirius said they had a hidden small vault in my father's office, so hopefully there will be enough money in there for now. I need to ask one more thing though, the goblins and Gringotts. Say I was using polyjuice potion, even though I know you can't in there, but say I was and was able to get inside. Could magic allow me to enter my vault without anyone finding out it was me?'
'Yes, your vault will recognise you. That is why it is very hard to break into a vault at Gringotts. The high security vault are actually the easiest as they only need a goblin and a key. A normal vault, which you have uses a key but also you're magical signature, which is linked to your soul.'
'Okay, great, I better go before they return. Make them understand everything and why I need to leave for a while and thank them for me.'
'I will my boy, take care.'
'I usually do,' Harry gave Dumbledore's portrait a smile before he slipped the cloak on and left the office, ready to leave Hogwarts and everyone he knew. But Harry realised he could not live how he was, he had to be himself so that is what he was going to do, but he had to leave to do, become the person he was meant to be.
Harry figured now might be a good time to go into Gringotts, everyone was still celebrating, some were mourning the lose of a family member or friend. So he used his cloak until he got to the steps of Gringotts, told the goblins he would pay for the damage which is the only reason they allowed him to enter his vault.
Harry had placed an undetectable expansion charm on a couple of bags, along with his rucksack, also made them feather light then filled it with thousands and thousands of galleons. If he was to guess, Harry would say he had about three or four million galleons by the time he finished. He only left a few thousand galleons, just to keep the vault activated.
He went to Sirius' vault and found a few goblin made items, he thought that should cover the damage to Gringotts. He held them out to the head goblin who nodded and told him his debt had been paid. Then Harry had half of his money changed to pounds because he knew what he was going to do required being in the muggle world for a while. Harry ended up with over ten million pounds and three million galleons. He now knew he would never need to worry about returning to Gringotts.
Harry snuck around the back of the house in Godric's hollow and forced the door open. It was stuck due to it being closed for seventeen years. Harry went straight upstairs to his parents room, found a heap of clothes that belonged to his father and he was pleased to see that they would fit, so would his shoes. But since Harry was never going to come back to this house again he took a lot of his mother's stuff as well.
When he finished in the bedroom, he found the office Sirius had mentioned, took all the money from in there, some was galleons, some was pound notes. He found his parents journals, so he packed them as well. One thing he needed to do, so he walked back upstairs and found he's old bedroom. The destruction surprised him at first, he could hardly move as he stared around at what would have been a nice kids room. Then Harry finally started to look for what he came in there for, what Voldemort had intended to use as the horcrux that night. It didn't take him long to discover a ring, but it wasn't Gryffindor's as Dumbledore thought it might have been. It had Dumbledore's name on the inside of it.
Harry wondered if Dumbledore knew that Voldemort had stolen something of his or he thought he lost it. Harry stared down at the ring and thought it would suit a man or a woman. It was gold with an emerald in the centre and a few diamonds on either side. Harry slipped that into his bag before he left the house and left Godric's hollow ready to begin a new life. A new life that would start with a lot of pain, but one that he hoped would be worth it in the end.
A few days later an owl arrived at the Burrow, he dropped a letter in front of Hermione, along with a small pouch. She looked in the pouch before unfolding the letter.
"Dear Hermione and Ron, I'm sorry I lied, but I was never going to turn up. I didn't want you to worry about me, but after hearing everything and after all I saw, I had to get away from all that reminded me of him. So after a lot of thinking, I've decided to leave the country, which by now I would have left. I might be back one day, I can't say if I will or when, but if I do, it won't be for a few years at the earliest. I need to get my head together and figure out who I am. I've been the-boy-who-lived, the chosen one and now the saviour. But I have no idea who Harry Potter is. As I've said many times, I'm just Harry, but who is he? So I've decided to travel, just go see the world and hope one day I can live with the knowledge Snape passed on to me. I also hope I can finally figured out who I am.
"I knew more than a year ago that if this was ever over, I would leave, but I had to make sure it was over and all of you were safe. Please tell Mr. and Mrs. Weasley how grateful I am for the way they treated me, they gave me a small glimpse of what a normal family life was like. Thank all the Weasley boys for making me feel like a brother. Tell Ginny she will find her true love one day, that all I want for her is to be happy, but it could never be with me.
"You and Ron know I always expected to die by Voldemort's hand and I told you in confidence Hermione that giving Ginny those few months with me would give her some memories of me when I was gone. Well, I am gone, just not in the way I thought. It's time for me to grieve for Sirius and for my parents, it's time for me to learn to be on my own. Even though my best friends were always there for me and I can't tell you how much that meant to me, I always felt alone, I was meant to be alone. Even if I never return, know that I cared for you both very much and I'm pleased you are finally together after all this time.
"I worry sometimes because you two are so very different that I wonder if that difference will be too much. But sometimes opposites attract and you two are complete opposites. One thing you had in common, you liked me for who I am, not how I'm thought of or that I was the-boy-who-lived. Well, now the man that survived has to learn to live with a life he never expected to have.
"Please be happy, all of you be happy. If you're wondering, that money is for you and Ron when you head to Australia to find your parents Hermione. No more staying in tents and eating shit food, stay somewhere nice, enjoy that beautiful country and have a good time even though you are going there for a reason. I may write again, I just don't know at the moment. Writing this is breaking my heart because I know how much I will miss you. Love, your friend and always will be, Harry Potter,"
Hermione sniffed then wiped a tear from her eye, 'I had a feeling he wasn't coping as well as he lead us to believe.'
'Harry was always good at hiding his feelings, but I do hope he comes back one day. Do you know though, I'm not surprise he decided to leave. Remember what he said after Sirius died, if it wasn't for the prophecy he would have left then. But he didn't want Voldemort to rule the world, he had to do what was right,' Ron said.
'He always did what was right and what was right for everyone, he never thought of himself. Well, he finally is and he should, but I will miss him. I hope he does write, just so we know he's okay.'
'Harry's a very self confident and self assured young man, I'm sure he will be fine Hermione,' Arthur said.
'He should not be alone right now, he needs his family around him,' Molly said sadly.
'Even though Harry loved hearing that Mrs. Weasley, he knew he had no family, that he never would.'
'What do you mean he never would?' Arthur asked.
'Harry said to us once that if the war was over that he would never marry, never have kids, it would just be him, always alone,' Hermione said, 'I wasn't sure if he meant it, but it seems he did,' Hermione stared down at the letter in front of her and hoped it wasn't the last she would receive. Even if he never returned, reading his letters would allow her to feel like she was still close to her best friend.