And We’re Off!

Harry and Hermione woke up early the following morning at the same time, as they set their alarm charm for quarter-past four. They quickly got dressed in their new clothes and Harry packed some wand holsters he bought yesterday, as Hermione bought a few books. The bag space was enlarged some more to fit everything in. Harry and Hermione put gum and earplugs in their pockets for take-off and landing. They placed their tickets securely in their pockets. They completely filled the suitcase and Harry put his wand in his long Khaki cargo’s pocket, along with his Invisibility Cloak. They were ready.

The Weasleys were lined up at half-past four, each ready to hug them until they couldn’t breathe. George was the first one, and hugged Harry and Hermione. He was about to say a joke about them going to another country and skipping to different apartments and hotels, but decided against it. It just wasn’t the same without Fred saying the other half of the joke.

Ginny was next, hugging Harry and Hermione at the same time, so it would be less awkward for Harry and Ginny. Ron was next, hugging Hermione a second longer than necessary. He turned to Harry and hugged him, patting him on the back.

“Get us something from Australia, alright, mate?” Ron asked. After seeing how much money Harry had, he felt more comfortable when he asked of this. He was still a little bit uncomfortable with Harry and Hermione, but he had nothing to worry about; Harry’s too bloody loyal for his own good.

“You bet,” Harry said after one more pat on the back. He walked over to Bill, who was finished hugging Hermione. “See you, Bill.” Harry said as he hugged Bill, who was his size.

“You probably won’t. I might be in Egypt by the time you get back.” Bill explained. Hermione heard what he said, and hugged Fleur harder. They had gotten closer over the year.

Harry let go, and with one more grateful smile, moved on to Fleur. She was still hugging Hermione, but put one arm out and hugged him, too. “You two ‘ave a great treep, and I ‘ope you can find your fozer ond mozer soon.” She said enthusiastically, kissing both of them on each cheek. Harry didn’t phase; usually he would blush a little (even when he was with Ginny) and seem uncomfortable. Fleur looked at Harry in shock and curiosity for a second, but Harry didn’t notice, as he was heading towards Charlie. Charlie hugged them both fiercely, as he was shorter than them both, but much stronger. “I might be gone, too, so goodbye!” was all he said before he let them go.

Next in line was – could they believe it – Percy. It was quite awkward for all three of them. They both read the paper that Percy sent Ron three years ago, telling him to ‘sever ties’ with Harry and to be more faithful to Umbridge. They didn’t know if Percy knew that they read it, but decided to let that go. Harry, as calmly as he could, walked over to Percy and shook his hand. That hand shake meant two things for Percy; I forgive you and goodbye . Percy put his hand on his shoulder and mouthed the words ‘I’m sorry’, and Harry immediately mouthed the words ‘it’s alright’. Harry let go of his hand as Percy’s hand slumped to his side.

Harry walked over to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley (for the first time in two days, she left her room to see them off), who both had sad smiles on their faces and Mrs. Weasley had her eyes red-rimmed. She was still pretty upset at Harry and Hermione for breaking their youngest ones’ hearts (Mr. Weasley was disappointed, but not incredibly so) although Ginny was dating someone else and seemed happy about it. Mrs. Weasley hugged Harry and Hermione loosely, not the huge, crushing hugs she used to give to Harry every time she saw him. She had no snacks to give to Harry and Hermione, no Treacle tarts to go, not even a goodbye. Just a hug. Mr. Weasley gave them a handshake. He would usually give a hard, enthusiastic handshake to Harry, sometimes bringing Harry into a hug. But today, he gave them two shakes of his hand and let them go. Harry was about to go mad. Why are they still angry with me?

Hermione sensed his inner turmoil and waved to everyone before he snapped at them, or she herself did. “Bye, I hope we can find them and see you all soon!” Harry joined her in waving. They all waved back as soon as Hermione and Harry walked outside, with the bag in his hand. They almost crossed the boundaries before the pair was tackled by an orange furball.

“Crookshanks, it’ll be alright, we’ll come back soon,” Hermione laughed as the half-kneazle kept licking her face. He then moved over to Harry and licked his face. This was the first time that Hermione realized that Crookshanks likes Harry a lot more than Ron. Could it be a hint? ‘ Crookshanks was always right in the past,’ she thought with a smile as she got up.

Crookshanks continued licking Harry’s face a few more seconds until Hermione lifted his up and rubbed her belly for a moment. Harry stood up, grinning and pointed his wand at his face. The small dribble on his cheeks disappeared without him saying a word.

Hermione looked at Harry in shock. When she let Crookshanks on the ground to go back into the house, she decided not to comment, but she was still amazed at how much more powerful he was.

“Do you remember what the parking lot looks like?” She asked as they got past the anti-disapparation wards.

“Well, I do remember… but what if we dissapparate and appear inside a car… or worse… mold with a car?”

Hermione shuddered at that thought. “I never thought of that.”

“Is the student surpassing the teacher,” Harry asked in fake surprise.

Hermione smacked him playfully on the arm. “Fat chance of that.”

“I suggest that we disillusion ourselves and fly to the airport.” Said Harry, remembering what he did in fifth year. Hermione nodded. “That could definitely work. Brilliant idea, Harry!” she said as she put an arm around him and hugged his side. The night air didn’t seem so cool anymore.

When Hermione pulled back, Harry pulled out his wand. “I hope I know how to do this.” He rapped himself on the head, and once again felt as if an egg was cracked on him, as he felt the familiar trickling sensation down his head and body. Hermione gasped.

“What? I’m not invisible?” He asked as he looked at his hand. He could see a clear outline of a hand and the grass under it, so he guessed it worked.

“You’re invisible… it’s just… do you know how tricky and advanced that spell is?” Asked Hermione, eyes widened.

“I copied Moody’s wand movement,” explained Harry, completely flustered. “It wasn’t exactly hard. I just hit myself on the head and thought, ‘I hope I disappear’.” Hermione stared in disbelief. She could see barely Harry, but not from a distance, like ten feet. He was completely clear, as if he were a moving, talking, plastic body. It was the best disillusionment charm she had ever seen. She just couldn’t believe how he made himself completely transparent. She had to try it, too. She hadn’t done that spell in a while.

She closed her eyes and rapped herself on the head, and she also felt trickling down her. She smiled to herself. She had done it, too. As she immediately opened her eyes and saw an outline of Harry looking down at her legs, the small line between his invisible lips in a frown. She slowly looked down and frowned, herself; her lower half was still semi-visible. There were a few trickles going down her legs, so only those small sections were unseen. Suddenly she felt a very soft tap on her stomach, and trickles started coming down again until she was completely disillusioned.

Hermione’s mind was in disbelief. She just could not believe what Harry did. It was absolutely perfect! He let her do it herself; he waited a few seconds to see if her spell worked; when the trickling stopped, he placed the spell on her again so she wouldn’t be frustrated that he could do it his first time and she almost forgot. He was so sincere, which made her love him all the more.

Harry took the brooms out of the bag and disillusioned them both. He gave the silver one (he checked before he disillusioned it) to Hermione along with the bag. He mounted his own golden Firebolt II and waited for Hermione to transfigure the bag into a cell phone. “Does it actually work?” Harry asked curiously.

“No, Harry, it doesn’t work.” Hermione said. “I just made it look like one.” She placed the phone in her transparent pocket and mounted her broom.

“Ready?” Harry asked. “Ready,” Hermione confirmed.

They kicked off the ground, and in seconds, they were high above the Burrow, looking at the Weasley’s. They must have been there the whole time, for they were all either grinning, frowning, teeth clenching, or mixed expressions. They both blushed. Apparently, the moonlight, shined on their outlines from a close range. Harry looked for Ginny’s expression while Hermione looked for Ron’s. Ron’s teeth were scraping each other, his fist clenched, but his expression softened after a second . That was a friendly hug , He thought, trying to calm himself down. There’s nothing wrong with that .

Ginny had a shocked expression on her face, about to erupt, until she saw the calm expression on Ron’s face, a microsecond after he calmed down. She then smiled a little. It looked like Ron was getting over

Harry then looked over to Ron, while Hermione looked over to Ginny – right when their expressions changed. They looked content. They smiled to themselves and flew off into the early dawn.

After a while, Hermione started shivering from the night air; she didn’t bring a coat. Harry noticed this and flew over to her. He wrapped his arms around her and rubbed his hand up and down her arm. Hermione quickly warmed up when he touched her. Harry’s hands were so warm to her, even in the sky. He took off his jacket and handed it to Hermione. “You need it more than I do!” He yelled over the wind. She slowed down and gratefully put on the jacket and loved the feel of it touching her skin. It almost felt as if Harry was holding her. She looked up to see an airport. “Harry,” she warned, “we’re here.”

Harry nodded, grinning. “Do you want to land like airplanes on the stretch?” He asked playfully.

Hermione checked her watch. “Sorry, Harry, we don’t have time. The plane starts boarding at six, and we have thirty minutes left.”

“Where should we land?”

“Anywhere. They can’t see us and we don’t need parking spaces.”

“We’ll land at the entrance, then, alright?”

“Alright.”

They sped up and leaned in like a perfectly coordinated team. They were speeding towards the airport, racing like mad. Hermione lifted up when she was twenty feet up, but Harry went down eighteen more feet and pulled up at the last second, the tips of his new sneakers and his kneepads slightly scuffing the ground.

Harry came back up to join Hermione, whose eyes were wide and jaw dropped. “Now that is a Wronski Feint!” Harry said, grinning madly. Hermione eventually came out of her shock and smiled along with him and they both (slowly) landed on the pavement in front of the entrance. They went into an alley on the side and illusioned themselves. Harry asked for the cell phone.

He used his wand to transfigure it back into the bag and illusioned the brooms. He placed the brooms carefully into the bag and quickly closed the zipper. “Now all we have to do is think of… a plan.” A slow smile spread across his face, as if he thought of the perfect plan. He quickly transfigured the bag into… a roach.

“Why did you turn it into a roach?” She asked, baffled and disgusted as he pointed his wand at the roach once more.

“You’ll see,” was all he said before he charmed the roach in a loud whisper. “ Confundo !”

The roach became still and turned to him as if waiting for instructions. “You will stay in my pocket until we reach the metal detector.” He said calmly. “You will leave my pocket and go around the detector.” He pulls the boarding pass out of his pocket and reads. “You will go straight to… gate two-seventeen, and join us between the seats that we go to when we arrive. You have thirty minutes. Understand?” Harry asked nicely. He then placed a shield charm and a sticking charm on the roach. He took the cloak out of his pocket and gingerly pulled Hermione’s wand out of her pocket, who was still in shock at what he was doing. He wrapped the cloak around the wands, so they were invisible, and placed the wrapped up wands on the back. The roach quickly crawled out of Harry’s hands and went straight into his large cargo pocket, the invisible wands still on its back.

Hermione was speechless, once again. ‘ Where is all this coming from? Harry used the confundus charm on a roach and found a way to conceal our wands!’ “Harry… ” she finally spoke, “… that… was genius ! How did you think of that?”

Harry blushed and rubbed the back of his head. “I don’t know how I do most of the stuff I did in my life.” Harry explained, smiling briefly. Hermione smiled brightly and took his hand, making Harry go redder. They walked into the airport entrance.

“Why did you place a shield charm on the roach?” Hermione asked curiously.

“Well, if the roach gets stepped on, our stuff will get crushed, won’t it? Now, if anyone tries to step on it, their foot will slide on the shield and… well, the only bad part is they might slip and fall.”

“It’s still a wonderful plan, Harry. I’m sure it will work.” She said as she squeezed his hand firmly. Harry then smiled and walked on calmly, now certain that his plan would work.

Hermione was right – as always – the plan did work. They went through the metal detector without any luggage… as far as the guards were concerned. The roach came out at exactly the right time, crawling around the metal detectors and luggage checks and throughout the hallways looking for the gate to their plane. Harry spotted it with his Seeker abilities, crawling on the ceiling. They followed their luggage, knowing it was going in the right direction of the plane. It found the gate and crawled down the long hallway, Harry and Hermione following. It went straight to their seats, and they sat down, still holding hands. Thankfully, no one tried to step on the bug. They had first class, so it was easy to be comfortable in their chairs. Hermione leaned back a bit in her chair, as they were the first people to board first class for the flight.

This is going to be a long flight . She looked down at her and Harry’s intertwined hands. ‘Although… it may be a very pleasant one.’ She reminded herself joyfully.

She was right; it would be a pleasant flight.