The bang was like a cannon-blast and the golden flames that erupted between them, at the dead centre of the circle they had been treading, marked the point where the spells collided. Harry saw Voldemort’s green jet meet his own spell, saw the Elder wand fly high, dark against the sunrise, spinning across the enchanted ceiling like the head of Nagini, spinning through the air towards the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last. And Harry with the unerring skill of the seeker, caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backwards, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upwards. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snake-like face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, and Harry stood with two wands in his hand, staring down at his enemy’s shell.
The next few days passed in a blur, for Harry and the surviving Weasleys. They were only now returning back to the Burrow, as Mrs Weasley had take it upon herself to organise the Hogwarts clean-up effort. No-one could blame her really, the loss of so many loved ones, family and friends, had hit her hard, and Harry could remembered the forms her boggart took at Grimmauld Place. She needed things like this to distract her and everyone else and give them all a sense of purpose.
Now though, they were returning to the Burrow after Fred's funeral and the memorial service. Most of the minor clearance work at Hogwarts was now completed and so it was time for the ministry certified magical builders to move in.
Slowly and wearily the Weasleys who still lived there, plus Harry and Hermione, made their way up the path towards the Burrow. First came Mr and Mrs Weasley in the lead, leaning on each other for support, then Harry and Ginny smiling sadly at the summer showing itself all around them, then came Ron and Hermione, whispering and argument with each other.
The previous day, Harry had received a letter from Gringotts bank, apologising for the delay in recognising his coming of age and his inheritance of the Potter family vaults, estates and other holdings. Harry and Ginny did not know what to make of these revelations, and had decided to visit the bank the day after they arrived back at the Burrow and got settled in. So they had made an appointment with the Gringotts Goblin in charge of the Potter estate for ten o’clock the next day.
Gringotts had also told Harry that he was forgiven for the damage that he had caused and for losing their dragon. They said that the repair bill would be met from the Lestrange family vault as that family had now died out and their estate, along with most Deatheaters estates were now confiscated and in the process of being split between the goblins, the Ministry, and the people wronged by the deatheaters.
When they finally came into sight around the last bend Harry thanked Merlin that it had survived. They had been assured by some of the Order Members that it was safe to return to, but had not dared to hope that the Burrow had survived the war unscathed.
Harry feeling Ginny tremble slightly in his arms hugged her closer. She looked up at him, unshed tears in her eyes.
The next day dawned bright and early over Stoatshead hill. At eight in the morning Harry and the rest of the Burrow slowly awakened to the smell of breakfast frying in the kitchen. Harry got up from his bed in Ron's bedroom squinting. He still, after all these years, hadn't grown used to the colour orange as a wallpaper, or indeed as a lampshade, or as a carpet, or as a duvet cover.
It's no small wonder then that Harry made his way quickly out of Ron's room and made his way down the stairs to the only bathroom in the house intent on taking a shower.
He opened the door to the bathroom, his mind still rather sleepy, only to hear someone shriek.
"What are you doing in here Harry? Get out before mum sees you!"
Harry hadn't really been paying any attention to the world around him. Unfortunately Ginny's exclamation caused him to immediately seek out the source of the voice.
Ginny had just got out of the shower, her body still glistening with water. Harry just stood there, with his mouth hanging open, and stared. A blush started to creep up Harry's cheeks and he could definitely see his girlfriend starting to blush as well. Harry hardly noticed the door closing behind him as he swept his Ginevra up into his arms and gave her a searing kiss that she wouldn't forget in a while.
An hour later, after they had both showered together, they headed down to a later than usual breakfast.
Molly looked up at them both as they entered together with a slightly suspicious look in her eyes.
"What took you so long?" Ron asked as they both took seats next to each other at the kitchen table.
Both Harry and Ginny struggled to fight down the blushes that threatened to take hold on their faces.
"Um... No reason… Ron… No reason…" Harry replied with a nervous smile. Turning to Ginny he said “We’d better hurry Gin, if we want to make the appointment at ten o’clock, you know how those Gringotts Goblins value their time.”
“Alright I’m coming,” Ginny said exasperatedly. “Just let me finish my breakfast, we’re not all as fast as you and Ronald you know. Anyway I’ve just worked up a very good appetite.” She whispered the last part conspiratorially to Harry, sitting next to her, and winked at him, causing him to blush even more. “We’ve still got thirty minutes. What’s the rush about?”
“Well Gin,” said Harry, “what with the goblins checking everyone going in and out of Gringotts and the floo network being cut off, we will have to apparate. The only problem is that Diagon Alley has been covered with anti-apparition wards. So we need to go to muggle London and then through the Leaky Cauldron to get to Diagon Alley. So if your finished with breakfast we can go outside and I can side apparate you there.”
Ginny consented to the plan and they both went outside and disappeared with a small pop.
Harry and Ginny arrived in a deserted muggle alleyway nearby to the Leaky Cauldron. They walked down the crowded street to where the entrance to the wizarding inn was situated. Harry had to practically drag Ginny along. She had never been on the muggle side of the Leaky Cauldron before and all of the shops fascinated her.
"Harry, can we get one of those, Plasma Veetee's for Dad?" she pleaded while giving harry a well practised puppy dog look to rival any Andrex advert.
"Are you sure they don't teach you how to pronounce TV in Muggle Studies class?" Harry said suspiciously. "I'll tell you what Ginny, we'll get some muggle money at Gringotts and if we come back this way, we'll see about getting your 'Dad' a TV."
By the time they reached the Pub, they only had twenty minutes left to reach Gringotts. When they arrived there was a small crowd of families gathered around the pub's entrance. Most of the families had children who looked to be around eleven years old however some appeared to be slightly older, twelve maybe.
"I wonder who they are," asked Harry.
"Must be the new first year muggle-borns. I wonder if they need someone to show them around," she said, glancing meaningfully at Harry.
"What? I can't do that Ginny!"
"Because... Oh all right Gin. We'll ask them if they need some help. Okay?" Harry sighed resignedly. "This had better not make us late," Harry added as an after thought.
Plucking up his courage, Harry walked towards the small group of parents and children, "Good morning everyone, are all you children starting Hogwarts this fall?" They answered him in the affirmative and so he continued, "Do you have someone to show you around Diagon Alley, or would you like me to."
Everyone said that they didn't have anyone to show them around and th at they would accept his offer as long as it wasn't too much of a bother for him.
"It's not too much bother at all," Harry assured them. "We were on our way to the wizarding bank, Gringotts, anyway, and you'll all need to exchange some money there before going to the shops anyway."
Everyone looked okay with this, although some of the poorer looking families looked a bit uncomfortable at the mention of money.
"Err... How much money are we talking about here?" said an apprehensive looking man in his early forties. His accent was similar to Ginny's but with more of a Celtic brogue to it. "You see, coming from where we do, my wife and I don't have much money. We want the best for young Jago and Morwenna here but this Hogwarts place seems expensive." The man obviously seemed embarrassed at his poverty and having to admit it in front of his children, who were twins by the look of it.
Harry was forcibly reminded of the Weasleys and came to a decision to help as many families that were in this situation as he possibly could. "I believe that there are some trusts and scholarships for that very reason, but we can find out more about that at the bank, If you would all care to follow me."
He led them through the pub and into the back, where he tapped the correct brick with his wand. They were all amazed when the archway into Diagon Alley suddenly appeared in front of them.
Both the adults and children alike were staring amazedly at the shops that they were passing. When they reached the imposing marble building of Gringotts several of them gasped. There was a large hole left by the dragon but Harry could see that the goblins would soon be finished repairing it.
"The bank, Gringotts, is run by goblins as you can no doubt see," Harry said with a smirk as they entered the building.
The security checks took another ten minutes and Harry told them where to go in order to get their money exchanged. He told them that they could wait for him if they wanted him to show them around or else go off exploring by themselves. He warned them however not to go down Knockturn Alley as it wouldn't be safe for them.
Harry and Ginny then made their way to the nearest free goblin, called Bob(can you think up a better name for a goblin?).
"Yes?" said Bob Goblin, looking up at them suspiciously with narrowed eyes.
"We are here to see Penbucca Map Arghans(Head Goblin Silverson)" Harry said. "We believe he is expecting us."
Bob told them to wait there while he went to check on a few things. He returned a minute later with another goblin. This one however was far more opulently dressed and looked positively ancient.
"Ah, Harry Potter, what a pleasure it is to meet you at last," said the goblin who Harry took to be Map Arghans. "I was wondering if you would care to join me in my office for a few minutes and discuss your coming of age. If you wish that Miss Weasley joins us then she may do so."
Harry nodded his consent, and then the two of them followed the goblin to his grand office. When they were both sitting comfortably he began.
"First, we must discuss the inheritance of the Black family estate. Most of the money and property goes to you. That is currently 19,736,927 Galleons, cash, in the Black family vault. 121,000 acres of land around the Black Forest, 12,311 acres of land in the British Isles, and 31,400 acres of land in France.”
Harry and Ginny just gazed at each other, open mouthed.
“The house in London, I cannot tell where exactly it is situated, it appears you have already taken possession of. There are also castles in England, Scotland, France, and Germany.”
After this everything became just a blur to both Harry and Ginny. The Black estate seemed to take ages to go through and organise. It had occurred to Harry that Sirius might not have even known about all of his fortune. Harry was also becoming aware that Sirius had left most of his estate to him. He couldn’t believe that, Sirius had hardly known him, and Harry had practically got him killed in the first place.
Harry didn’t notice when the goblin moved on to the other estates that Harry would be receiving now he was of age. Indeed so engrossed was he in his depressed thoughts that he didn’t notice Map Aghans was asking him a question until Ginny poked him hard in the ribs. Harry jumped slightly and began rubbing his side where she had poked him.
Both Ginny and Map Arghans sniggered at him, the goblin finally saying, “I was just asking if you would like to view your vaults now or leave it to a later date, Mr Potter.”
Going slightly red at being caught daydreaming, Harry stuttered, “U-Uh maybe not today… that is… we’ve got people waiting for us to show them around.” Harry could not keep the relief out of his voice that he had successfully come up with a good excuse for getting out of there. “Although I would like to visit my regular vault that my parents set up, to withdraw some money, if that is at all possible.”
"Unfortunately, Mr Potter, you cannot visit that vault anymore as it has been merged with your other Potter vaults. However I suggest that you visit your mother's personal vault as it has a modest amount of gold in it as well as some personal items deposited by your mother shortly before she went into hiding."
Harry perked up at the mention of his mother and he nodded quickly to show his acceptance of the idea.
"Very well, if you will follow my assistant, Gobsmack, he will take you down to the vault."
With the meeting concluded, Harry and Ginny followed Gobsmack down a private tunnel to what turned out to be an executive cart. These were far more padded and roomy than the other kind, but still retaining the same ability to thrill Harry while making everyone else as look green as his eyes.
Gobsmack took them down to Harry's mother's vault and waited for them to finish their business there.
Harry was quite stunned with the contents of the vault. He thought that there must have been at least 100,000 Galleons inside. There were also few pieces of furniture which included a wardrobe and a desk. Harry went off to look at the desk as he had seen some items stacked neatly on top.
Ginny meanwhile was busy examining the contents of the wardrobe. The wardrobe turned out to be magically expanded on the inside and had a large collection of clothes in all different styles. Some of the clothes looked new while a few silk robes, covered in precious stones, looked positively ancient.
Ginny guessed that this used to be Harry's mother's wardrobe, and that, as she was going into hiding, she had decided that she didn't need it with her. By the looks of it these clothes had been passed down from one Potter wife to the next. There were wedding dresses encrusted in diamonds or pearls. There were also, what looked like maternity clothes.
Ginny wondered if these were the clothes Lily wore when she was pregnant with Harry. She glanced over at him, wondering what he was doing.
Harry walked over to the desk looking at the things lying neatly on top. He noticed two letters and what appeared to be a jewellery box. One letter was addressed to him while the other had no name on it. Harry carefully opened the one addressed to him and started to read.
I have left this letter here just in case your father and I are not around to show you. With the way the war is going it seems unlikely that we will survive long, even with the fidelius charm in place.
Just in case the cottage in Godrics Hollow is destroyed I put some family heirlooms in here for safe keeping.
Also, just in case Peter is captured and is forced to tell The Dark Lord Moldywarts our location, I have left the real documentation for our fidelius charm that gives Peter as the secret keeper rather than Sirius. This is contained in the unmarked envelope. Hopefully the deatheaters will never discover our little ruse of changing secret keeper.
Anyway, you're probably wondering what's in the box. Well it's tradition, in the Potter family, to use the Potter rings. In the box you will find a promise ring, an engagement ring, and two wedding rings. Your father tells me that these rings have been passed down in your family for centuries, so don't loose them. Hopefully you have already met your soul mate and you can both help continue the Potter name and traditions for many generations to come.
Another of the traditions is one that is passed from one Potter wife to the next. The wardrobe contains the finest clothes passed down through generations of Potter women. Each wife adds something new and some of the robes are extremely ancient, preserved by the wardrobe's magic of course. If I'm still alive the clothes will become your wife's possessions when you are married, but if I am not alive they become your fiancée’s after you become engaged. I hope that you have had a good life so far Harry, I know that if you are reading this the worst has happened, so I wanted to tell you that I love you and that your father loves you. We want you to know that we will always be there for you, even if we can't be there in person, and we will always support you one hundred percent.
All my love for ever,
Harry stood there with tears in his eyes, not noticing when Ginny pulled him into a hug, finally letting himself cry on her shoulder.
Harry slowly got a hold of his emotions and pushed them down. He picked up the Box and letters and they walked together towards the door. There Harry spoke to Gobsmack and asked him what would be the best way in which to get the wardrobe in the vault moved to the Burrow.
The goblin pondered this question for a moment or two before suggesting that Harry try to shrink it, or if that failed they could always use the goblins secure delivery service, for a small fee.
After unsuccessfully trying to shrink it Harry admitted defeat and arranged with Gobsmack for the delivery to be made as soon as possible.
With that Gobsmack called an ordinary mine cart to take them back up to the main entrance.
Once they reached the surface, Harry was amazed to note that the meeting and trip to the vault had only taken one and a half hours.
They walked over to the goblin currency exchange desk and Harry exchanged some of the galleons he had taken from the vault for pounds.
“Time for lunch soon, I think,” said Harry, cheering up slightly and draping his arm around Ginny. “I wonder where those muggle-borns have could have gotten to,” Harry said as he looked around the busy entrance hall of Gringotts.
He noticed the muggles almost immediately, as most other people were wearing robes, and made his way quickly over to them.
“Hello again,” he greeted them. Have you all got some galleons?”
“Er… yes,” said one of the men. “Y-Yes the Goblins were very helpful, thank you.”
“Do you all want to get some lunch before we start shopping? It's on me.” There was a general consensus for the idea so Harry with a smile on his face and Ginny by his side called, “follow me then.”
They entered the wizarding restaurant and Harry had the waiter show them to two large tables near the windows so that they could look out at the busy streets beyond
“We spoke to the g-goblins and they were able to arrange scholarship funding for our children,” said the man who he had spoken with earlier. “They even set up a small vault for the money and any that we can spare to add ourselves of course.”
"It was strange because the name of the scholarship fund was ‘The James, Lily and Harry Potter Memorial Fund’. We knew a James and Lily Potter who had a son called Harry, didn't we Jack," said his wife, "but they disappeared some time around 1980. We wondered if you knew anything about them or what happened to them. The people we knew lived in the castle on top of Carn Brea."
To say that Harry was flabbergasted would be an understatement of the greatest magnitude. "Um... Er... W- Er How did you know them exactly?" Harry managed to stutter out.
"Well they were quite popular in the local community and very generous to local organizations and charities. They helped us out when I was laid off from South Crofty and rented us one of their houses for a reasonable rate. Lily and Jenny even became very good friends."
"They were the nicest couple imaginable."
"They were my parents," Harry finally admitted. "I'm Harry Potter," he said while smiling weakly. "They were killed by a dark wizard in 1981 and I was shipped off to live with relatives in Surrey."
"Oh! We're so sorry. We didn't know," said an obviously upset and shocked Jenny.
"Don't worry about it," Harry said comfortingly. "You didn't know. Today has been very busy and we've been finding out a lot that I didn't know about my family, thank you for sharing this with me."
They finished their lunch and Harry and Ginny showed everyone around Diagon Alley, taking them to all the best places to buy their school items.
Once they had finished, they said their goodbyes and went their separate ways.
Harry, having withdrawn a large amount of both wizarding and muggle money, decided on taking Ginny shopping in muggle London.
A couple of hours later a weary looking Harry and an almost bouncing Ginny apparated to the Burrow, weighed down by numerous packages and parcels.
Coming through the door into the kitchen Harry immediately collapsed onto a chair. "That's the last time I take you shopping Gin," Harry said breathlessly.
"I can't help it if I'm too expensive for you," Ginny said with a sly wink.
"It's not that, Ginny, I would gladly give you everything that I have."
"And how do you plan on doing that Mr. Potter?" Ginny asked as she sat down in the chair across from him.
Harry made a very quick decision in that moment and little did he know what effects this decision of his would cause to the world
"Ginny, I wish that we could have got together sooner but over the past two years I have often thought of you as my precious Golden Snitch, will you allow me to catch you," Harry said getting down on one knee. "W-Will you marry me?" with that he pulled a small box from behind his back. He opened it to reveal the engagement ring he had taken from his mother's Gringotts vault, a pure gold band with a large green emerald cabochon and two smaller ruby cabochon stones set in it.
Ginny sat there speechless for a moment before a grin overcame her shocked look. "Only on one condition Mr. Potter," with a look of mischievousness in her eye.
"And what, pray tell, is that Miss Weasley?" Harry asked slightly worried at the look on his girlfriend's face. He'd seen that look before on Fred and George's face when planning a particularly nasty prank.
"My only condition is that you allow me to think of you as either my Quaffle or my Broomstick. The choice is up to you." Ginny winked seductively at him. "Other than that I have no problem with becoming the future Mrs. Potter."
Harry thought for a moment about his choices. He thought about her throwing him about as a quaffle and then he blushed slightly as his thoughts strayed to Ginny riding him. "Your Broomstick awaits, fair lady," he said, getting up and giving a small theatrical bow before going back on one knee and holding out the ring to her. "Will you marry me Ginny?"
"Yes! Of course I'll marry you," she exclaimed with tears in her eyes, almost grinning at him. Ginny grabbed him by his head and pulled him in for a passionate kiss.
Surfacing, Harry took the ring out of its box and slipped it onto her finger. There was a blinding flash of green and red light that emanated from the ring, they watched as it swirled around them, changing to a golden fire. There was a trill of phoenix song and the fire consumed them.
At that moment, in the smallest bedroom of 4 Privet Drive, in the Surrey town of Little Whinging, a fourteen year old boy woke up from a very strange dream.
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