After the ceremony Harry and the rest of the guests made their way back to the Burrow where Harry was surprised to find a spectacular set of tents covering a longline to tables full of food. Several guests, whom Harry had never met, kept approaching him and congratulating him (for what, Harry wasn’t sure). As he weaved his way to the open front door Harry caught several groups of witches and wizards openly gawking at him. Their eyes shamelessly moving from the baby in his arms to the scar on his forehead and finally resting on his face where Harry’s hard stares made them turn away.
“Harry!” Harry tuned around and found himself face to face with Luna Lovegood.
“Luna.” Harry said. “Er—hi.” Luna was wearing a set of dark purple robes and had something that looked suspiciously like Devil’s Snare intertwined with her hair.
“Is that a baby?” Luna asked a familiar dreamy look on her face. “Where did you get a baby Harry?”
“A friend.” Harry said. “Listen, Luna---“
“They just gave you a baby?” Luna frowned. “You won’t do well with a baby Harry. You’re too flighty.”
“Thanks.” Harry said flatly. ”Hey Luna. Listen. If you see Ron and Hermione, can you tell them to meet me in Ginny’s room?” Luna nodded and waltzed away humming to herself. Harry shook his head as he walked into the Burrow. Harry had seen the Burrow full to bursting only once before, last year at Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Harry slipped past the crowd clutching Teddy to his chest hid Harry ducked behind the Mrs. Weasley’s clock to avoid being spotted by Ron’s Auntie Muriel, who Harry remembered as being cantankerous and ill-tempered.
Harry made his way up into Ginny’s room without waking the sleeping Teddy and without being spotted by the dozens giving their condolences to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and George. He sat on her bed after he put Teddy in his cot and waited for his two best friends to come find him. It didn’t take long.
“Harry, what’s happening?” Hermione asked worried.
“I have to tell you something.” Harry said. He felt nervous, perhaps more nervous than he had in a very long time. With his stomach flipping, Harry began to tell Hermione and Ron about his plans to abandon the wizarding world.
“So you’re just going to leave?” Ron asked in a hollow voice. “Just like that?”
“It’s not quite that simple.” Harry started. “I just—can’t think.”
“That’s obvious.” Ron snapped. “So that is then? You stay around just long enough to play the hero and then you ditch us? Leave everyone else to clean up the mess?”
“I NEVER WANTED TO BE THE HERO!” Harry shouted.
“WELL YOU CERTAINLY DIDN’T LET ANYONE ELSE DO IT!” Ron roared. Harry reached into the pocket of his robes, drew his wand and pointed it at Ron who did the same.
“We stuck our necks out for you.” Ron said lowly. “My brother died for you and you want to leave it all behind?”
“IT’S NOT LIKE THAT!” Hermione stepped in between the two of them.
“Silencio.” Hermione’s voice broke the poignant pause left after Harry’s words. Hermione, like Ron and Harry had her wand out and took turns pointing it at both Ron and Harry. “If the two of you promise you can behave, I’ll lift the spell.” Ron looked at Harry murderously, but both of them nodded and Hermione muttered something under her breath.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Hermione asked quietly.
“I didn’t want you to talk me out of it.” Harry said. “This is something I have to do.”
“No.” Ron said quietly. “This is something you want to do. You had to stop You-Know-Who. You want to leave.”
“I can’t be here anymore.”
“You belong here.” Ron said fiercely. “In our world.”
“I’m not disappearing forever.” Harry said sullenly. “Just for a few months.”
“What about Teddy?” Hermione asked. “Doesn’t he deserve to know?’
“He will.” Harry assured her. “I’m not leaving forever, just long enough to—“
“Clear your head. I know.” Said Ron looking slightly downtrodden.
“I’ll still write. I’ll have to get a new owl…” Harry turned to Ron, “Look, I’m—“
“I know.” Ron said glumly.
“Don’t.” Ron said sternly. “I know.”
“We’ll still be able to see you, right Harry?” Hermione asked.
“Yeah. Of course.” Harry said. “I don’t think I can stand being by myself.”
“Have you told anyone else? “ Hermione asked. Harry nodded.
“Ginny knows. No one else. It’s not exactly the kind of thing I’m trying to advertise.” Ron sighed heavily.
“When are you leaving?” He asked. Harry shrugged. He hadn’t really thought about when he was leaving the Wizarding World, he only thought about leaving it. Not forever, obviously. The wizarding world was the first and only place Harry had truly felt at home. But the pressure of being “The Boy Who Loved” and being the “Chosen One” was staring to weigh on Harry. For nearly eighteen years, Harry had been the sole savior of the wizarding world. All those people, all of them, looked up to him and depended on him to keep evil at bay. That weight alone was enough to make anyone crumble. The worst was the stares. Harry had been stared at constantly from the moment he had stepped foot into the wizarding world; people staring at his scar, staring at him because they thought he was a hero, staring at him because they thought he was insane, staring at him because they saw him as a savior. Harry hated the stares, he hated the implication that he was sort of godsend. That his presence was all that anyone needed to be safe.
Harry, of course, didn’t feel this way. Ron and Hermione had often made a point of discussing his accomplishments in front of him, but Harry had made an equal effort to remind them that they had helped him nearly every step of the way. He never liked the fame, he didn’t kill Voldemort to save everyone (all though, that was an added bonus that not even Harry could deny) Harry killed Tom to avenge his parents. He had told this to Ron and Hermione. Hermione sympathized with him as she so often did; Ron simply scoffed and advised him not to tell anyone and let the world think he was hero.
“You’re still going to Godric’s Hollow?” Hermione asked. “You have to.”
“I’m going to Godric’s Hollow.” Harry confirmed.
“You’re not going to raise Teddy like those muggles raised you are you?” Ron asked. Harry scoffed.
“No. Absolutely not.” Harry said firmly. “He’s going to know. About our world, about us. Teddy’s going to know what his family died fighting for.” Harry’s eyes lingered on the unmarred forehead of the sleeping infant.
“I just hope he’s as accepting of it as you are.” Said a new voice from the doorway. Andromeda Tonks, although it had only been a couple of days since Harry had seen her, she seemed to be taking the death of her daughter and her husband rather well. Her graying hair was tied up at the nape of her neck. Her eyes were red and puffy, just like Mrs. Weasley’s. She nodded at Ron and Hermione. Hermione took the hint and led Ron out of the room by his arm. Ron opened his mouth, ready to protest but Hermione elbowed him sharply in the stomach and dragged him away before he could say anything else.
“What are you doing here?” Harry asked. “Sorry… I didn’t mean to—“
“I know.” Andromeda said kindly. “I am friends with the Weasley’s you know. In fact, Arthur and I are—“
“Distant cousins.” Harry finished. Andromeda gave him a curious look. ”Sirius told me.”
“Sirius.” Andromeda sighed. “He was my favorite cousin. Nymphadora’s too.” The two of them fell into an awkward silence.
“Arthur is burying Remus next to your parents. Well, next to Sirius.”
“Sirius was never buried.” Harry frowned. “There was—we couldn’t find—he fell. Through the veil. There was nothing too…recover.”
“I know. Remus told me.” Andromeda sat down on the edge of Ginny’s bed. “I thought that was the end of it. But…I found his will.”
“Lupin’s will?” Harry asked. “He wrote a will?”
“It appears that way.” Andromeda pulled a wilted piece of parchment from her robes. She unfolded it and handed it to Harry.
“As you may have assumed, everything he owns, with the exception of the Map, has been left to Teddy.”
“What does this have to do with Sirius?” Harry asked, his eyes scanning the worn parchment for any mention of his late godfather.
“It was Remus’ intention,” Andromeda tapped a finger at a section of writing near the bottom of the will. “To give Sirius a proper burial. He had assumed that you would come to that course on your own. But, had the thought slipped your mind and Remus died before you…he made provisions.”
“Yes. Remus wanted to make sure that Sirius had a proper burial.” Andromeda said, gazing over to the cot where Teddy was sleeping.
“There was no body.” Harry said. “We can’t bury him without a body.”
“You can still hold a ceremony.” Andromeda said gently. “You can still honor him Harry. You don’t need a body to do that.”
“I know.” Harry said. “But—“
“Arthur has taken care of it.” Andromeda said briskly. “Sirius is to be buried—yes” Harry had rolled his eyes at her when she said this “buried with Remus and Nymphadora at the end of the week. I expect you to be there.”
“I will.” Harry said. Andromeda turned to leave.
“Harry,” She said “I don’t know why you’re taking Teddy to the Muggle world. I know enough to trust your judgement. But don’t let him forget, about his parents, about his world. He belongs here.”
“I won’t let him forget.” Harry promised. Andromeda smiled at him.
“Don’t keep him from me. Not forever anyway. He’s all I have left of her.” With that Andromeda left the room, leaving Harry alone with his godson and his thoughts.
The next few days passed as quickly as the previous one’s had and before Harry knew it; it was Friday and Harry was packing up his and Teddy’s things to be brought to Godric’s Hollow with them to the funeral. From there, Harry intended on travelling straight to London and into what Hermione insisted on referring to as his “gap year.”
“Have you found a flat yet?” Ginny asked. She was lying on her bed staring at Harry as he was shoving several pairs of baby socks into his old school trunk that Mr. Weasley had rescued from the Dursley’s old house.
“I’ve looked around. Hermione’s been a big help.”
“How are you supposed to pay for it exactly?” Ginny asked. “Why not stay at the Leaky Cauldron?”
“I’ve got money.” Harry sounded almost affronted.
“Are you going to get a Muggle job?” The thought of Harry working in a Muggle shop was a great source of amusement to Ginny and she had brought this topic up several times during the week whenever the two of them were alone. Harry half-heartily rolled his eyes at her but smiled nonetheless and continued packing his things.
“Not if I can help it.” Harry said. “I’m not exactly qualified.”
“What are you going to do then?”
“Kingsley wants me to become an Auror.”
“Are you?” Ginny asked.
“Am I what?”
“Going to become an Auror?” Harry shrugged.
“I was.” He pushed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose. “But everything is different now.” Ginny sat up on her bed and stared Harry down.
“Just because things are different doesn’t mean you should abandon your dreams.”
“It wasn’t exactly a dream.” Harry snorted. Ginny shook her head and grabbed him by the shoulders.
“Yes it was.” She said. Harry looked at her open jawed but she continued. “You’ve always had this since of justice. Vengeance even. It’s who you are. Harry, you gave up everything once. More than once. You’re entire life has been defined by what you don’t have. Start defining it by what you do.” With that, Ginny placed a gentle kiss on his lips and left her room.
Harry stared, gap-mouthed, at her door. He soon broke into a grin and shaking his head at the thought of her, finished packing and began making his travel plans for tomorrow.