According to older Muggles from around town the house at the end of the peninsula had stood empty for as long as anyone could remember. Dark, overgrown, and shabby, it was never a place where anyone went and if you asked, they would say it had always been that way. No one seemed to know who owned it and no one seemed to care. They might have guessed it to be about 60 years old, judging from the concrete block walls and the old wood-frame windows. It was a low-built house with a flat roof, the outside walls pale gray in color. Most likely it had been white at one time, but the weather and the sun made it what it was today.
If any non-Muggles happened by, however, they might say the faded paint suited the house perfectly; it was comfortable in its skin and in remarkably good condition. The gardens were neatly manicured and everywhere green leaves sprouted announcing the new season.
It was a bright, sunny, early summer afternoon and a young man walked up the drive leading to the house, his eyes taking in every detail of the surroundings — from the pines at the edge of the wood to the curve of the beach where it met the lake. He knew this place so well, had spent so many hours walking through the tall sea grass and along the pebbly shore, it was like coming home again. In the distance he could just see the little town across the river, though he couldn't seem to remember its name. The sailboat masts stood up like flags against the blue sky, giving the whole scene a comfortable old-town feel. He didn't recall spending much time in the town, but had always heard good things about it. Not that he had ever really needed something to occupy his time here.
He paused as he stepped into the lush grass, tilting his head to one side slightly. He ran a hand through his wild black hair and adjusted his glasses on his nose. He wondered if he'd ever really noticed that the grass here was always so green. It was just one of those things, he supposed, the things seen but never really noticed. He shook his head with a half-knowing smile and bent down to unlace his shoes. He may never have given much notice to the color of the grass, but he knew how it felt to walk through it bare-foot. It was one of the small pleasures that made this place so comfortable to him, so much like a home. He never wore his shoes when he was here.
It had been several years, but it all seemed exactly the same. The lawn was perfectly managed (although he now suspected that it never really needed care) and the flowers were in full bloom. He looked slowly up at the sky and then across to the tall pines swaying in the lake breeze, letting his mind wander back… maybe it wasn't that long ago… he could almost hear the words he had spoken. He let out a long breath and his thoughts became more serious. A painful feeling constricted slowly in his chest and his mind settled on that time he thought of so often. It haunted his dreams many nights remembering the words he had spoken and the reasons why. Not that he'd intended to be hurtful, it just happened sometimes. It was a different time then and he was a different person. It was all part of the life of being Harry Potter.
He closed his eyes and listened to the waves breaking hypnotically on the beach. Then slowly, like the water washing over the sand, he let his memories engulf him.