A/N: this story continues, I do not own the characters or the names, and this is just for fun, and still no animals have been harmed in the writing of this story…..maybe a few brain cells as I struggle to make the story coherent….my other stories will need some work soon, as will this one….
Ragnorak wrote down the information that was needed to establish the scholarship and then another goblin entered the room with a stack of parchments. "Here are the documents you requested in regard to the Potter-Black accounts," said the new goblin quietly, as he tried to steal a glance at the wizard who seemed to be making quite unusual requests upon the regent.
Ragnorak dismissed the goblin as he took the pile of parchments, "Very good, you are now dismissed." He then turned to Harry again, as he added, "Now, let us begin to review this information, Lord Potter-Black."
Harry was in shock. Ragnorak had just reviewed the list of properties that he owned as Lord Potter and Lord Black. He really did not think that he would ever need more than two dozen homes, including several flats, several mansions, a chateau, and an Italian Villa. He was not sure how many buildings were on the island he owned in the Bahamas. However, he knew that he really did want have to deal with the properties that he owned through the other family vaults which he had recently learned were his, so he spoke with the goblin regent about arranging for selling those properties. Harry wanted to do something more than the scholarship he had set up for students at Hogwarts, so he arranged for the proceeds from the sale of his properties to support a fund to provide for Quality Quidditch Supplies to keep all four of the Hogwarts' Houses Quidditch teams outfitted with the best equipment and brooms, including upgrades on a regular basis. Then Harry spoke with Ragnorak about arranging for the Potter home at Godric's Hollow to be rebuilt. He had seen it with all of the damage that Tom Riddle had caused, and he wanted it restored to how it was when he parents lived there, when he was a baby, before that fateful night in October. The goblin assured Harry that they could do all of the work that would be necessary and that they would have any residue of dark magic removed, and that it would be protected with the best wards possible, however it would take several months to complete all of the work.
Ragnorak then handed Harry a satchel. Harry gave the regent a quizzical look. "These are some items that were retrieved from the Evans vault. I took the liberty of obtaining them as I thought that you would be interested in the items in here." Harry quietly thanked the goblin, but he did not open the satchel.
"Is there any other business you wish to complete today, Lord Potter-Black?" asked the regent.
"Not at this time," answered Harry with a smile. He then considered what he would need to do next. He was pleased with what he had accomplished already today, and as he thought about the school that had been his home for six of the past seven years he knew he could not return there. At least not yet. He had too much that was upsetting him. He thought of the final image he saw before he apparated away - Ron and Hermione in an embrace — and his emotions were still raw. He had just admitted to himself the feelings he had for Hermione, but he knew he had no chance as she was his best friends's girl. The thought reminded him of a song he once heard on the radio years ago.
Harry briefly wallowed in his misery and loneliness which caused him to remember his years at 4 Privet Drive. He had barely even thought of the Dursleys over the past year, and now that they came to his mind he decided that he was too curious to not return there, even if it was just to look at the sight from afar. Harry walked out of Gringotts, and exited Diagon Alley thought the Leakey Cauldron. He placed his invisibility cloak over himself and he apparated to the playground in Little Whinging. He did not want to be seen by anyone as he approached the residence that he hated to return to, that he was so glad to leave behind last summer. He wasn't even sure if his aunt and uncle and cousin were able to ever return to the house, or what may have happened to them.
As he approached 4 Privet Drive he did not need to wonder very long about his relatives. He noted Dudley, who appeared quite a bit thinner than when he saw him last, was outside doing some yard work. Harry laughed to himself as he saw Dudley actually could do some chores as Harry was no longer around to do all of the work. Harry noted his uncle speaking with a neighbour, actually yelling at the neighbour to stop letting their dog enter his yard. Aunt Petunia came out to the yard worried that her little Dudders was going to get too much sun even late in the afternoon. Harry sighed as he looked at the relatives that he had learned to despise and he knew that they had never really changed, except for Dudley apparently growing up. Harry remembered Dudley's last words to him last summer, where he actually said "thank you" to Harry.
Harry too one final look at his relatives and the house that brought him so much pain and he decided he would never return to Little Whinging. He felt a little nauseated as he regretted having come by the house in the first place. He then apparated away.
At Hogwarts the students, faculty and families that had gathered were still working on getting the castle cleaned up and arranging for funerals for the loved ones who had died. The remaining Aurors were busy trying to round up any surviving Death Eaters.
Hermione Granger was sitting near the lake, just staring off across the water feeling more alone than any time in her life. Ron Weasley came up form behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. Hermione grabbed his arms and twisted away.
"Ron Billius Weasley!" she screamed at him. "Do not touch me like that again!"
"But Hermione," whined Ron, "you're my girl and I wanted to hold you."
"I told you yesterday, and I told you the day before the same thing I told you the day before that!" she yelled back at him. "I am NOT your girl, I ended that when I told you I didn't love you two days ago."
"You're just upset, you can't really mean that," he said.
"I can, and I did," she said as she was trying to calm herself down. "Touch me again like that and I will hex you into next week."
"You can't be serious, Hermes," pleaded Ron. "After everything we've shared, after all we've been through together, you can't just walk away from this, from us!"
"That is rich, coming from you!" she snapped back. "And don't you call me 'Hermes'. And I am not walking away from anything. As I recall, you walked out on Harry and I months ago."
"Hey, I came back! And I saved Harry and destroyed the Horcrux with the sword of Gryffindor. And you love me, and we even shared that kiss in the chamber of secrets."
"You're right about a few things Ron," she said much calmer than she was before. "You're right, you did come back, and you did destroy that Horcrux, and yes, I even did kiss you." She paused before she continued, "But we are not a couple, and I learned over the past few months and it was confirmed to me over the past few days that I am most definitely not in love with you Ronald."
Ron was stunned momentarily, then he replied, "You can't mean that, Herms, you're just upset with everything. Give it a couple of days, and you will see."
"I don't need to give it any more time at all Ron," she said softly. Then she let out a long sigh and continued, "I do mean it, I do not love you, not like that anyway, but like a brother. A very irritating brother at times, but only a brother. Now, really, I just need some time alone."
Harry appeared in the Forest of Dean. He looked around the area where he and Hermione had stayed for a time. He walked along the stream bed and sat down on a tree stump. He thought back to the comments that Hermione had made when they were camping in this area.
Harry pondered her words, and then he thought he heard someone walking in the woods behind him. He stood up and looked around. He shook his head as he wondered if he was seeing someone walking through the shadows as dusk was beginning to fall. He listened carefully, and all he heard was the sound of the stream and the slight wind blowing through the trees. "I must be imaging things," he said aloud to himself. "Hermione wouldn't be coming back here."
Harry apparated back to 12 Grimmauld place. He then sat down in his kitchen as Kreacher came and offered to make him dinner. Harry quickly thanked his house for his thoughtfulness and then he picked up the satchel and decided to look at what Ragnorak had given him. There were several small books. The first one he looked at appeared to be some sort of journal. Harry opened it up and looked inside the cover, and tears came to his eyes. It was the diary of Lily Evans Potter. He couldn't believe that the goblin regent had done something so thoughtful and sentimental.
Harry finished his dinner that Kreacher had made for him and he decided to start to read the journal. He opened the diary and he read the passages. The diary described his parents' wedding, and how his mother was both excited and worried. She wrote of her being worried about the war, while being so happy to be with James. Then she wrote about the honey moon. She mentioned going to the Potter Chateau in France on the Mediterranean coast. She described how peaceful and beautiful the home was and how they had such a wonderful time. Harry began to think about the images of a home in France. He had no idea his family had owned such a place. And then he realised that he had a place he could go and get away form everything for a little while.
"Kreacher!" he called out.
"Yes, Master Potter," answered the old house elf.
"Harry," he answered, "please just call me Harry." He then looked at the elf as he continued, "Can you take me to any of my properties? Even ones that weren't Black properties?"
"If Master Harry has a property that he is allowed to go to I take you there," commented the elf, with a tone that indicated that he was irritated that he had been asked such a simple yet obvious question.
"Brilliant!" exclaimed Harry. "Tomorrow morning, we're going to France."
May 5, 1998
A very worried Professor McGonagall was pacing back in forth at the front of the great hall. The remaining professors were gathered around. Her face was as stern as ever. "I cannot believe that no one has seen Mr. Potter or that no one has heard form him. Where could he have gone?"
"Even the Weasleys and Miss Granger have not heard from him," commented Professor Flitwick.
Professor Sprout was wringing her hands in her apron just like a worried mother. "Where could he be? How do we even know if he is all right?"
Kingsley Shacklebolt strode into the hall and greeted those that were gathered. McGonagall cast a hopeful eye at the interim Minister for Magic. "Any news, Kingsley?" she asked.
"None at all, Minerva," replied the Minister, clearly irritated by the situation. "We have at least been able to determine that he has met with the goblins at Gringotts at some time within the past day or two."
Minerva raised an eyebrow at this bit of news. "How could you get that information? I did not think that the goblins would be inclined to speak to wizards about private meetings, client confidentiality and all that."
Shacklebolt gave a sly smile. "They do not normally release information about their customers or clients, however, when the goblin nation has passed judgements on legal matters, that information is available to those who know where to look."
"And where would that be?" asked a curious Professor Sprout as she voiced the question that all of the others were thinking.
"The goblin nation publishes the results of their legal system as well as the resulting legal consequences," answered the Minister. "Apparently Harry had broken into Gringotts last week, and that was followed by Voldemort showing up and taking out his anger against many of the goblins. The penalties have been meted out and the goblins are now friends with Lord Potter-Black. Our young Harry has not only been busy settling debts with the goblins but he has been accepting his inheritances."
"So, then he may be returning to us soon?" asked McGonagall, still hopeful that the young man she often looked to as a son would return to his first true home.
Kingsley frowned, "We have no idea where he went to after that. It is clear that he has apparated several times to various places, but my best Aurors have been completely unable to track any of his movements. We have even scouted out Grimmauld Place. The wards are completely different and we have no way of entering the former home of the Order of the Phoenix at this time. He may be staying there, but we have no way of contacting him if he wishes to remain hidden."
Hermione Granger had walked into the great hall and she had overheard most of what the Minister for Magic was saying to the professors. Noticing her presence, Shacklebolt turned to her and asked her if she had heard any word from her friend.
Silently she shook her head no, and then turned to leave the hall so that no one would see the tears that began to run down her cheeks.
Kreacher was anxious about travelling to another family house. He had never been to a house for the Potters, but as he was the house elf for the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black he was now also serving the Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter. Kreacher understood the prestige that this new title would give him among house elves, although he had never craved such recognition, he had always just desired to serve his masters.
Harry was reading through another one of the books form the satchel. This was a journal that his father had kept when he was younger, as he had written down stories of his travels when he was young, before going of to school at Hogwarts. Harry smiled as he thought of the things his father had been able to do and he considered that he may be able to travel now that he had nothing he needed to do, for he had defeated Voldemort and his life's mission had been completed.
Harry thought of all of the pain and suffering and death that had followed him throughout his life. He thought how it would be so much better for his friends that he would leave for he could only imagine that they would blame him for the death of friends and loved ones. They all still had family and he was left alone, so he had made up his mind to leave everything and everyone he had known for the memories were still too painful.
"Is Master Harry ready to leave?" asked Kreacher.
"Shortly, Kreacher," he answered. "I have some brief business to take care of at Gringotts, and then I will be ready."
"If Master Harry is needing to send the stack of letters you have been writing all night, poor old Kreacher can handle that for you," croaked the elf with a tone that indicated he was hurt that Harry had not entrusted that job to him.
"Yes, it is the letters," smiled Harry gently as he did not want to offend the house elf who had finally taken a liking to him. "But please understand, I want to make sure there is no trace back to here or wherever I may be going, and for that I need the owls to come from Gringotts."
"Very well, Lord Harry," replied the elf, "but it would be quicker if Master let Kreacher bring the letters to Gringotts, that would save you time and prevent you from being seen in public, which you have been quite adept at avoiding these past few days."
"Right," said Harry simply as he handed the stack of letters to his elf. "Here you go then, and thank you, Kreacher, for everything."
With a sudden pop, the elf was gone. In less than a minute, he was back, standing in front of Harry. "Is Master Harry ready to travel now?" he asked with an awkward smile.
"Yes, I am Kreacher," he answered simply, as a single tear rolled down his cheek as he knew he was about to leave behind everything and everyone he knew.