Harry looked up to see an extremely pale-faced Ron.
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t go on the trip!”
“Why not? It’s only almost a day’s flight, you can sleep.”
“But I snore…and there will be muggle passengers… and I can’t use the silencio spell or any other soundproofing charms.”
“Yeah, but snoring loudly isn’t a magical disease, is it?” Asked Harry, wondering why he refuse do magic for a day.
“Well, they’ll say I’m loud, aren’t they? They’ll wake me up. Can you imagine me being on an airplane being forced awake?”
Harry didn’t answer, as he didn’t want to say anything that will upset him even more. “D’you think if I used the Elder Wand to perform a silencio spell, it would last for twenty-one hours?”
“Mate, I think it would last for years with the history behind that wand.”
Harry snickers a little. “I bet Hermione wouldn’t complain.” He then had to roll to the side from an oncoming pillow. He absently thought, I might even get a kiss out of it!
It then occurred to Harry what he was about to do. He was about to go on another trip with Hermione by themselves. And this time, Hermione’s not going to grieve. Harry inwardly smiled; it might not be so bad of a trip.
Hermione returned a moment later parchment and wand in hand. “This will be the perfect chance to practice writing spells.”
“Ron doesn’t want to come, Hermione.” Harry explained, looking over at Ron. “He doesn’t think he can be a muggle for a few days, after all the stuff we did.”
“We could use magic, then!” Exclaimed Ron, his ears reddening. “I just don’t fit in the muggle world. You guys figured that out at the World Cup.”
Hermione’s smile faltered a bit. If Ron couldn’t go, then that means Harry would probably think it was uncomfortable to go with his best friend—who happens to be a girl—to an island paradise alone.
“Well, I can’t make you go, but you should be able to stand up to your fears. I’ll just add your things last in case you want to come with me.”
“Did you just say the word ‘me’ again?” Asked Harry, his eyebrows raised.
“Oh, you’re still coming?” Hermione asked hopefully.
“Well, the last time Ron left, you didn’t leave me, so I guess it’s the other way around.” Harry replied, hearing Ron grumble something like ‘I came back.’
Hermione’s heart soared. She just couldn’t believe what Harry said. Harry just told her that he wanted to go with her to Australia, still. In fact, he looked happy to join her. It was probably the fact that Harry had never been there, or never been on a plane, but regardless, she was happy. She would like to spend more time with him. If she wasn’t crying over Ron leaving them the past year, she would have enjoyed the short time she had with Harry. She wasn’t about to let that mistake happen again.
“Okay then, I’ll start making the list for what we need on our trip.” Hermione said, emphasizing the plural words. Harry smiled a bit.
“I’ve got the tickets and anything else we need covered…if the goblins aren’t too mad at me.”
“Do you really think they’ll still be mad at you, mate?” Ron asked, done with his grumbling.
“Well, I expect them to be mad that you’re entering their bank, but they treat the richest customers with the most respect, and since you…Harry!” She yelled, clapping her hands together. Harry looked up to Hermione. She, still holding her hands together, asked “Have you seen the Black family’s vault?”
Harry’s eyes widened at that question. “I forgot all about it! I mean he must have had a bit of money, because he bought me that Firebolt, right?”
“Sirius’s parents are respected purebloods, mate.” Ron said, leaning back to lie on the bed. “They should have a ton of money, as much as your vault. Probably more.”
Harry nodded thoughtfully. He then noticed Hermione had her index finger on her chin; a sign that she was thinking furiously. What are you thinking, Hermione?”
She slowly said, “Lestrange…her vault…well, there’s no one that we know who’s closely related to Bellatrix, nor does anyone want to claim that she nor her husband is in their family, but before she became a Lestrange, her last name was Black. I wonder if you have access to her vault, then? I know that Draco should be next in line, but…” Hermione smirked, “He owes you two life debts. I’m sure that vault would make up for one.”
“Well…possibly.” Harry said slowly. “I have to go talk to the goblins before I do anything else. So, are there any more hidden vaults that I should know about?”
“Well, I can’t think of any more,” said Hermione, not noticing the sarcasm of Harry’s question. Ron snickered, while Harry just smiled.
“Oh! I should start making the list.” Hermione said, and rushed over to a desk and sat down. Concentrating on the list in her mind she waved her wand above the blank parchment and muttered, “Writsialis Contatem.”
The parchment was slowly filling up with words right before her. She didn’t notice that Harry had gotten up from the floor and walked up behind her before she said the spell, so she jumped a little when Harry’s head leaned over her shoulder and muttered, “Brilliant!”
Ron didn’t leave the bed, but he could see the parchment filling out with Hermione’s familiar neat writing. “That’s a long list, Hermione. I thought you guys were leaving for a few days.”
“Well, Australia is a fairly large place, Ron, so I don’t think it will be a little bit more than one day. I told them in their memories that they were to go to a secluded place there. It won’t take long to find them, but it won’t be easy.”
“What won’t be easy?” Ginny walked into the room and sat on Harry’ bed. “Are you guys going on another adventure again? I want to go, too!”
Ron lifted his head up and looked over at her from his bed. “Do you want to be on a plane for twenty-one hours without any magic?”
Ginny quickly turned pale. “No thanks, although I’m surprised that you’re going to…wherever you guys are going, Ron.”
Ron frowned a little. “I’m not. Harry and Hermione are going to find her parents in Australia. She altered their memories so that they won’t be found and/or tortured for information.”
“So, Harry and Hermione are leaving the country…together…and going to a beautiful Island paradise for who knows how long?” Ginny asked with not an angry look, but a curious one.
Hermione blushed furiously at the way she said it, and pretended to double-check the list, and pretending not to hear. Harry, with a pink tinge on his cheeks, said casually, “Well, yeah, that’s the gist of it.” He did not notice Ron arching his brow.
Ginny walked over to Hermione and pretending to be reading the list that she made, but then whispers so only Hermione can hear, “You work fast.” Hermione turned a bit redder, if possible. “I didn’t make him come, he wanted to!” Ginny smirked when she heard that and looked over to Ron and Harry discussing the ‘items’ in the book Harry was reading. “Then Harry works fast. Who knows, maybe during the trip, he’ll want to come again.”
Hermione almost passed out when she understood the double meaning of that sentence. Ginny quickly added “Don’t get your hopes up, though,” and walked away, headed towards the door. “I hope you two have a great time.” She winked and disappeared.
Harry, who was now talking about the Resurrection Stone, waved at Ginny without looking back, as he was in deep thought, also. He then spoke. “D’you think it was a good idea to leave that ring in the forest? I should have used it a bit more. I would’ve liked talking to my parents, Sirius, Fred, and the Lupins. I’m sure Teddy and you guys would’ve liked to.”
Hermione got over her embarrassment and joined the conversation. “Well, Dumbledore says not to retrieve it, but I think you should. It’s going to be found sooner or later, and someone might know what it is by the symbol on it, and how to use it soon after.”
Harry was listening, but was still shocked at what she first said. When she finished, he asked. “Hermione…did you just choose to go against Dumbledore’s orders?”
Hermione felt her cheeks turned red at what she said, making Harry’s stomach feel weird again. “Well, I bet Dumbledore would have gone to find it and put it somewhere safe inside of Hogwarts. It’s only right that you do the same, except not at Hogwarts. Try your vault or Grimmauld Place.”
“Yeah, it’s impossible to break into those places and steal stuff.” Ron said seriously. Harry and Hermione started chuckling while Ron grinned. Soon they broke into fits of laughter.
“But seriously,” Hermione said as she regained her composure and the laughter died down, “When should we leave?”
“How about in a couple of days?” Harry suggested. “We’re able to go to Gringotts tomorrow and go shopping in the muggle world.”
“Okay then, it’s all set.” She then rolled up the parchment and asked, “So what do you guys want to do the rest of the day? Please don’t say Quidditch!” Hermione begged as Ron immediately opened his mouth to answer, then shut it as Harry sniggered.
“Well, we could always teach you how to fly better. The match that we had a couple of years ago proved that you need some training.” Harry said. “It’s pretty easy. It’s like…” he smirked. “Like being on a plane.”
“But I don’t have to hold on for dear life on a plane.” She reasoned.
“Well you control the broom, don’t you? If you want it fast enough for you to hold on for dear life, it’s your choice. Come on, Hermione.” Harry pleaded.
She took a deep breath and followed Harry and Ron out of the room and to the Garden shed. Harry smiled as he saw the Gnomes running around, ducking behind the bushes from the humans.
“Ron, what’s the slowest broom you have?” Harry asked.
“Charlie’s old broom, the Lightning Cloud. I’ll go get it.” And he ran off to the shed.
“I don’t know about this, Harry.” Hermione said as she repeatedly kept kicking the ground, nervous. “What if I fall?”
“Then I’ll catch you.” Harry said, with no hesitation.
“What if I go too high?”
“I’ll follow you.”
“What if I ran into you?”
“We’ll fall, then I’ll catch you and summon my broom back.”
“Hermione,” Harry interrupted, “you didn’t complain this much when we rode Buckbeak?”
Hermione’s cheeks pinkened. “Well, that was a life-or-death situation, Harry. And besides, I was behind you, closing my eyes, while you were flying. I know you’d never fall off your broom when others are flying with you. When you’re by yourself on the other hand…”
Harry thought about that statement, wondering what to do with this little predicament.
Just then Ron came back, holding one broom in his hand. It was polished and smooth, but it did look very old; it was thinning out as if dehydrated. “It might look old, but it still has a few more years on it.”
They turned around and Harry walked over to Ron. Ron gave the broom to him and said, “Don’t worry, the broom is steady and it’s pretty slow. I forgot yours, though.” He started to pace back, when Harry said, “No. We don’t need another broom. I’m gonna use the same method that we used the last time she wasn’t so nervous about flying.”
Hermione’s heart began beating frantically. Is he gonna…
She didn’t need to finish that question as he did what she suspected. He put his right leg around the broom and lifted off the ground about a foot. He then skimmed over the brown grass over to Hermione and stopped, still hovering.
“Well,” he said a little nervously, “you need to learn how to enjoy flying, but most importantly, you need to enjoy staying in the air. One step at a time. You ready?” He asked, his voice becoming more relaxed with each word and as he finished, he gave a lopsided grin towards her that gave her a bit of trouble standing up. She knew there was no way she could refuse that grin.
“Okay,” she added a little too fast, so she added, “but you will be flying, right?”
“Of course,” Harry sighed, relieved that she said yes. He started thinking back to when he had a bit of a crush on her ever since second year. He saw how beautiful she was at the Yule Ball, and his crush for her grew a little bit more. She would make a good girlfriend, hell, a great one, but he knew Ron liked her. He had to drive all thought about Hermione away, for Ron’s sake. Besides, she doesn’t even like me like that.
Harry’s train of thought quickly fogged when Hermione grabbed his shoulder gently to hoist herself on. She snaked her arms around him, causing his abs to clench.
Hermione was very nervous when she hoisted herself onto the Lightning Cloud. She was even more nervous when she put her arms around him. When his abs clenched, she pulled closer to him. She loved the abs that Harry developed. During the past year, every morning Harry woke up, he would do push-ups and sit-ups until he couldn’t anymore. Harry always said that if he’s stronger, he’ll have better wand movement, and he won’t get tired after a particularly powerful spell. Hermione always watched when he did pull-ups from time-to-time on low branches near their tent. She loved the way the muscles rippled in his arms when he did pull-ups. He said that he did it to battle Voldemort, but he still does push-ups and exercises every now and then.
“You ready?” He asked, his voice in a slight crack. Hermione didn’t notice it, because of her nervousness.
“Yeah, I’m ready.” She said, her voice a higher pitch than normal.
Harry slowly lifted off of the ground. Hermione was light, so it was pretty easy to balance. They noticed Ron looking up at them with an unreadable expression, which was a strange thing for Ron. Whatever it was, the both of them were distinctly uncomfortable. As soon as Heermione was thinking to tell Harry to go higher, the broom started speeding upwards. They went up about twenty-five feet when they stopped, Harry asked, “Why did it go that fast? Was it the broom?”
Hermione replied “Didn’t you tell it to go that fast?”
“No. Did you tell it to go faster?”
“No, but I was about to ask you to go higher. Wait, the broom was going faster and upwards at the same time. Harry, did you tell the broom to go faster?”
After a moment, he said, “Yeah…I guess that means you can control it, too. Congrats, Hermione, you know how to fly a broom.” He smiled.
“Yeah, but that was an accident!” said Hermione.
“Well, think of what direction to go. Don’t try too hard, or you’ll go too fast.”Hermione took a deep breath, and Harry shivered when he felt her hot air reach his neck. The broom started moving forward, under Hermione’s control, then backwards.
She turned the broom around and started moving the broom around as if it were a tricycle, just going in small little circles. Harry had a wide grin on his face.
“Well, now can I tell you congratulations?”
“I don’t know how to control it completely.” Said Hermione, as if afraid the broom might drop.
Harry then gripped the broom tighter. “One step at a time, Hermione. You have to go on the ride before you can control it.”
“That didn’t happen to you!”
“Yeah, well, I’m not normal, am I?” Harry said, still grinning. “Like I said, we’re going on a ride. Hold on tight. You ready?”
Hermione held Harry as if her life depended on it (which it did). “I’m ready.”
Harry nodded, then looked forward, leaning in a little. The broom started accelerating, faster and faster. Hermione was starting to get more nervous until she realized that Harry was there with her. She had nothing to worry about. She started to relax a little as the broom went up vertically.
She was a bit scared when Harry turned completely upside down. She crossed her legs under the broom, tightening her grip around Harry and let out a little shriek. Harry, on the other hand, felt that no matter how hard Hermione squeezed him, they always felt warm around him, and felt more daring at the moment causing him to go faster.
Ron was still watching, and when they went higher, Ron took out the omnioculars in his pocket. As he was watching Hermione shriek, he inwardly grinned. “Looks like she’s liking him less and less. I’ve seen enough.” He then went back inside of the house.
After a while, though, Ron lost his confidence, as Harry and Hermione were flying for about five hours. He looked out of the window. Harry and Hermione were grinning madly, on their own different broom. They were racing across the Burrow, with all of the Weasley’s, save Mr. Weasley and Fleur, watching them. Ron leaned over a bit so he could see their faces, as they were all huddled up in transfigured bleachers.
Mrs. Weasley still looked a bit sad, with fresh tears in her eyes (still mad at Harry for ‘ruining Ginny’s future’), but is still looking back and forth, watching them race. George was jumping up and down, rooting on whoever was winning and placing bets with the rest of the brothers. George thought that Fred passed on his ‘Forge Funnies’ to his twin, who had ‘Gred Gags’. George was the one who came up with most of the ideas of the shop. Fred was always the one who gave the stuff the cool names and was basically the funnier of the now incomplete pair. George said wasn’t overdoing the energy he seemed to have found, but underdoing it, and that it was Fred’s ear that unlocked his potential.
Bill was looking amused while watching. He always knew that Ron and Hermione wouldn’t work out together, but he didn’t think that Harry would break up with Ginny. Since he and Harry grew closer over the past year, however, he easily forgave Harry. He was also rather impressed that they broke into Gringotts and got out flying a dragon.
Percy had mixed feelings while watching but was still rooting them on. He wanted to be on good terms with his family again, as he had three years to make up, but he thought he should get on good terms with Harry again. He knew that over half of his family would have been gone if it weren’t for Harry. And he knew that the letter he had given Ron a few months before the attack on his father didn’t help at all.
Charlie was also watching them race. He was a bit mad at them for breaking up with his two youngest siblings, but he loved Quidditch and racing, so he threw up a Quaffle when they were tired of racing, and now they were tossing it back and forth as all except Molly and Fleur ran to the shed for their broomsticks to play a real game.
It was when Ron was looking at them running out of the shed when he noticed that Ginny wasn’t there with them. Taking this chance, Ron walked out of his room and headed towards Ginny’s. He saw her sitting on her bed, writing in her diary. He walked over to Ginny and sat on her bed facing the cover of the diary.
“Why did you break up with him?”
“I thought you and Harry already talked about this.” Ginny said, not looking up from her new, bright red book titled ‘GW’ in Gryffindor gold and glitter. The diary was a present from Fred, asking for Ginny to get over her fears when Voldemort is killed by Harry. He had no doubt in his mind that Harry would kill him soon. He wanted Ginny to write in it often, so she could slowly but surely and completely get over her fear for Tom Riddle. He also had to add a special addition to the book; when someone else tries to open it that is not specified by Ginny in the front-inside cover, the book will grow teeth and start attacking the person, and can withstand any trap and spell. The only way for it to stop is if the owner of the diary tells it to stop.
“Yeah, we did, but…did you really cheat on him?”
“Of course not! Harry and I weren’t dating then.”
“Where does that bloody wanker live?” Said Ron hotly.
“None of your business, Ronald Weasley,” she said in a Hermione-like tone. “Harry’s okay with it, because we’ve broken up permanently. You have nothing to do with my love life.”
“Yes. I. Do!” Said Ron in a cold, hard voice. This time, Ginny did look up from her book to see the angriest Ron she’s ever seen. Her eyes widened a little. “Break up with him.” He said, his voice turning into a low growl.
“I know why you want me to.” Ginny replied softly, not letting is angry look and tone phase her. “You’re hoping that Harry and Hermione realize that they’ll always be best friends and nothing more. Hermione will then go back to you while I’ll be on the rebound for Harry. Then we’ll all live happily ever after as one big(ger) happy Weasley Family.
“But that won’t work. We both realized that I only love Harry as a friend, a best friend. But not like a boyfriend. He wants a girlfriend who loves him for him.”
“There’s no one like that! Every girl loves Harry for the Chosen One rubbish! He won’t find any girl that will actually look past that except a muggle!”
“There is one witch who did look past that.” She said softly.
“But…they’re just friends. Nothing more—”
“Well, we’ll figure out soon, won’t we? They’ll be living together for a while, right. If they lived together for a while, it’ll be just like a marriage test. Will they want to kill each other before the journey ends, or will they be wanting to live together again in the future…permanently?”
Ron gulped. “I can only hope, then?”
Ginny sighed. “Yeah. But if Harry does like her, (which I doubt, by the way) you’ll break Harry’s feelings.”
“What about mine?”
“What about them? Hermione told me what you did to them. Regardless of saving Harry’s life, if you were with them the entire time, you could have reminded Harry to take the locket off!” She barely screamed.
Ron knew this, but didn’t think anyone would notice. But Hermione figures everything out, and just didn’t say anything. He slumped his shoulders in defeat. Hearing that out loud just made it sound…traitorous and pathetic. Ginny put down her muggle style pen and patted her hand on Ron’s back. “Ron, there’s still a chance that they’ll only be friends.”
“I still hope she acts like Harry’s mum on their journey. That way, he’ll know for sure.” Ron said hopefully. “I’ll see you later, Gin.” He said, getting up and going towards the door. When he walked outside, he turned around and asked, “This Jonathan Turner bloke…where was he during the Hogwarts battle?”
“He was fighting of course!” Ginny said proudly. She picked back up her bright red and gold-glittered pen and stated writing in her journal again.
Harry, Hermione, and the Weasley clan finally went in an hour later, congratulating Hermione for learning how to fly so well and fast, while congratulating Harry for teaching Hermione so well. Harry (Seeker), Hermione (Chaser), and George (Keeper) won against Bill (Seeker), Percy (Chaser), and Charlie (Keeper) with a total of 200 to 130, using Harry’s snitch.
“Well, we have a lot to do tomorrow.” Harry said to Hermione as the Weasley’s left to their rooms and they were the only two left. “Think we should go to bed?”
He started walking away, when Hermione turned him around and pulled him into a crushing hug. “Thanks for helping me fly my broom.”
Harry was almost distracted by the gentle feel of Hermione in his arms that he almost forgot to hug back. “No problem. Who knows, maybe you’ll get your own broom in the future.” He said with a grin that was hidden by her long brown hair. Hermione wasn’t paying attention, too distracted by the tight muggle shirt he was wearing, and the muscles showing, thanks to that shirt. Hermione made a mental note that she should buy some more of those shirts when they go shopping.
Thinking that she hugged him a little bit longer than necessary, she let go, cheeks pinkened, and ran upstairs to her bed. Harry, whose face was also slightly pink and wanted the hug to last a little longer, also went up to Ron’s and his room a little while later. He then changed into pajama pants and placed an alarm charm on himself. He laid out his clothes for the next day and drifted off to sleep, with no nightmares at all.