Up in the Air by quinn

Summary: ***Winner of Most Humourous and People's Choice Award in the First Time for Everything Challenge*** After Voldemort's defeat, after a summer of rebuilding... after several long months of Auror training, months spent working hard and missing his girlfriend... Harry is ready for a holiday. Christmas in Romania among the dragons with the Weasleys! Halfway through her final year at Hogwarts, Ginny has been counting down the days. But are any of them prepared for what is involved in fulfilling Arthur's dream of traveling the Muggle way - by plane?

Submitted for the "First Time for Everything" challenge.
Rating: PG starstarstarstarstar
Categories: First Time for Everything Challenge (2019-2), First Time For Everything Challenge (2019-2)
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2019.08.11
Updated: 2019.08.18

Up in the Air by quinn
Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Flightplan
Author's Notes:

Harry fiddled with the envelope in his hands, staring at the clock above the fireplace. It was a charming clock, just right for their small mantle, a housewarming gift from Arthur and Molly Weasley when Harry and Ron had first moved into the flat back in August.

The clock had four hands. Ron’s face grimaced slightly from the hand pointed firmly at “work.” His own face grinned from a hand set firmly on “home.” It was a relaxed grin, one that didn’t match his current sense of anxious anticipation.

But he wasn’t looking at his face. His eyes were fixed on the hand that was just out of sight, barely visible behind another hand… the one on which Hermione’s face could be seen, too engrossed in whatever scroll or book her portrait was staring down at to notice his impatient gaze.

He was staring at the hand beneath Hermione’s, just a glimpse of long red hair, a sliver of a freckled cheek. Both hands were pointed toward “school…” but they wouldn’t be for much longer.

After almost four months of Auror training, four months apart from her, the holiday was about to begin.

“Explain to me again… why did you get clearance to Floo to their flat, while I am stuck riding the train?” Hermione stood behind Ginny as she tossed her robes into her trunk and tugged up her jeans.

Ginny flashed a grin over her shoulder at her frowning friend. “Because you and my big brother will have the place to yourselves for the entire holiday. Harry and I just get these few hours before we take off with Mum and Dad.”

“Ginny, I still think that you —“

“AND if you make a peep about it, I’ll write your parents that you aren’t staying here to do an independent study, but that you are actually staying at your boyfriend’s house, and the only thing you’re studying is —“

“FINE. Fine. No need to get nasty.” Hermione folded her arms as Ginny smiled sweetly at her, before returning to tossing things haphazardly into her trunk. Hermione watched, barely concealing her disdain for the crumpled jumble. “How then?”

Ginny paused, halfway through sniffing a shirt. “How what?”

Hermione sighed. “How did you get clearance to use the Floo? I wrote asking for permission three times this term, and was never approved. Emergency use only. I even tried the hero card.”

Ginny raised an eyebrow. “How’d that go?”

Hermione adopted a stern face and her best Scottish accent. “Heroes can wait for romantic trysts with their hero boyfriends until heroes are on holiday.”

Ginny snorted and tossed the shirt into the trunk. “Sounds about right.”

Hermione ripped the next shirt from her hands. “So? How?”

Ginny batted her eyes. “McGonagall loves me. You know that.”

She reached for the shirt and Hermione held it away, a skeptical look on her face.

Ginny narrowed her eyes, her fisted hands on her hips. “Fine. I threatened to throw the next match. McGonagall invited the Harpies — she taught them all, apparently she has season tickets — and she’d be mortified if Gryffindor lost to Hufflepuff with her distinguished guests watching.”

Hermione scoffed. “You wouldn’t do that…”

Ginny smirked. “I learned to bluff before I learned to walk.” She turned back to her trunk, slamming it shut. “Oh, and that’s your shirt. I borrowed it last week. Thanks.” She flicked her wand and the trunk jumped up to follow her as she blew out of the room, just pausing a moment to plant a kiss on Hermione’s cheek on her way past. “Have a good holiday!”

Hermione looked down at the frumpled blouse, then over at her already neatly packed trunk. She shook her head with a sigh. “Good luck with that one, Harry.”

The clock’s hidden hand finally slid into view, peaking out from behind Hermione with a playful smirk as it ticked over to traveling. At the same moment, green flames burst into life. Harry swallowed, standing up a little straighter. Why was his heart so noisy? A trunk slid into the room, dragging ashes across the wood floor. Then Ginny stepped through.

She blinked in the dim light, but it took only a moment for her eyes to find his. They stood still, neither moving for a long moment.

Harry broke the silence. “Uh… hi.”

A smile tugged one side of her mouth. “Hi.”

He nodded slowly, hands still fiddling with the envelope. He shoved it into his back pocket. “So, you made it then. Just like we planned.”

Ginny nodded along with him, a slight flush to her cheeks.

Harry was distracted by how the color complimented the freckles across her nose. Had it gotten warmer? She was looking curiously at him — had she said something? “What?”

She grinned, shaking her head. “I said… is Ron at work?”

He nodded. “Yeah… he thinks I stayed home to clean, and that I’m picking you and Hermione up at the station later today.”

She took a step closer. “So… we’re alone?”

Harry nodded. Alone. Just like the plan. The plan… was suddenly fuzzy now that Ginny was no longer an idea in his mind, she was a living, breathing person… a person who kept stepping closer to him. He swallowed again. What was the plan again?

“Harry?” She was so close… almost touching him.


“Now is when you kiss me.”

It didn’t take Harry much longer to remember the plan.

A good bit later, Ginny was happily snuggled into Harry’s side as they shared a butterbeer in the flat’s small kitchen. “When do we have to leave?”

Harry glanced down at his watch. “We have another couple hours… but we have to go straight from the train to the Burrow. Your dad got a car to take us all to the airport.”

She shook her head. “I still can’t believe you got Mum to agree to all this.”

He shrugged. “Why wouldn’t she? She’s always talked about having Christmas with Charlie in Romania.”

Ginny shook her head firmly. “Not what I mean.” She slipped the envelope from his back pocket, which was somehow where her hand had found itself. She batted him on the nose with it. “I mean this. These tickets you bought.”

He wrapped a hand around her wrist and lifted it, kissing the tip. “Come on, Gin. You’ve traveled before. Egypt, right? I’ve never even left the country.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “But a plane, Harry.”

Harry smiled. “My first time for that, too.”

She leaned back, her incredulous eyes flashing. “It’s all of our first times, Harry. Do you even know how Muggles make those things work?” She watched as he wrinkled his nose thoughtfully, but she didn’t let that thought get far. “NO. No you don’t, because it makes no sense. Huge metal things can’t fly without magic. And you’re dragging half my family onto one of those deathtraps.”

He leaned back, exasperation on his face. “Me? Ginny, you KNOW this is for your dad. After he gave me… you know… the talk about us, he asked if I would help talk your mum into this. And I couldn’t really say no…”

She groaned, leaning back alongside him. Of course her Dad had played him. How could her mum say no to her favorite second-hand son when he asked them to go on the vacation he’d never had as a boy? “If you’re going to be a Weasley, Harry, you need to get better at these games.”

He quirked his head. “A Weasley?”

She smirked. “Don’t worry, Potter. I’m not proposing… yet.” She raised a playful eyebrow. “What were you saying about having a couple hours left?”

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