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The First of September
By Zapatorf

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Category: First Week Challenge (2008-2)
Genres: General
Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 16
Summary: Flying cars, an empty platform, and a thunderstorm! Well, Ginny never expected THIS for her first day of school!
Hitcount: Story Total: 3849

Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.

Author's Notes:
This is my first fic, so be nice. But... be honest, too. Great thanks to first beta, hgfan1111, and my secondary beta LilyEvans_Jan30 This would not have been possible without the encouragement and support of my new friends here on SIYE: The Silver Minxes...and Pooky!


"Harry, get off me. I told you, I want to sleep. And it's too bright." Ron pulled the covers over his head and turned over, now with his face in the pillow.

"Yeah, Ron. That's because the sun's up," said Harry, yanking the covers off of him. "And you had better be getting up, because your mum's coming." Ron fell out of bed, looking for his clothes and slightly panicked, but looking up he only saw Harry with a wide grin on his face.

"What, did the Cannons win?" said Ron stupidly.

Harry's grin just got wider. "Ron, did you forget what day it is?" Harry teased. Ron's eyes were blank for a second, and then lit up with recognition.

"It's the first of September! Hogwarts!"

"Yep. Now, get up, we're leaving soon. Your mum said Ginny was already done."

"And did my mum mention the ten Harry Potter posters she's got in her trunk?"

Harry sighed at him, having heard little comments like this all week in an attempt to embarrass him about their little sister's crush. It wasn't working anymore, because he had decided to ignore them.

A few moments later, Harry was putting some things in his trunk and Ron was eating a chocolate frog when he looked over to Harry with a slightly annoyed look on his face.

"My mum was never coming, was she?"

____________________________________ ________________________________________ ___________________________

An hour and a half, a good breakfast, and three trips back to the Burrow later, they had arrived at King's Cross, just outside the barrier to Platform 9 3/4. Molly Weasley was in her element, herding them around like cattle.

"Alright then, Arthur, you go ahead, and Percy will follow." Percy wheeled his trunk around, and followed closely behind his father. Nobody noticed Fred pull his wand out and mutter an incantation. Nobody saw the spell go behind Molly Weasley's back and hit Ron. Nobody was watching Ron to see his skin changing color to a dark shade of purple.

Nobody but Mrs. Weasley; who had been expecting something like this all day.

"Fred! What are you doing to your brother?!" By this time, Ron's clothes were changing color too. To top it off, a large purple elephant's trunk spouted from his nose, and Ron's bewilderment gave way to anger as he directed his gaze to the twins, realizing what had happened.

"Well, dear brother, I guess there IS such thing as a purple elephant." George was smirking at Ron. "Fred, I guess I owe you five sickles." Then George went through the barrier, the beginnings of laughter trailing after him.

"Fred! Don't you go through that... Fred, you get back here right this second!" Fred had gone through the barrier too, ignoring his mother’s screamed warnings, and laughing his head off.

Mrs. Weasley was furious, and striding towards the barrier. "When I get my hands on you, Fred, you'll wish I'd left you at home!"

"Mum, can't you take care of this first? Mum?" Ron was frantically trying to get his mother's attention, which was obviously elsewhere.

But Mrs. Weasley had already gone through the barrier. Ron glanced back at Harry, looking exasperated, and realizing they were in a train station full of Muggles and that he was a purple kid with a trunk for a nose, wheeled his Hogwarts trunk over to the barrier and ran in after her.

Ginny was looking terrified at being left alone with her crush, but Harry nodded to her and motioned to the barrier. Ginny gave a small squeak, then seemed to clear her head and nodded. Side by side, they went through the barrier...and found an empty station. No train, no people, not even Scabbers. Looking up at the large round clock sticking out from the archway, just above the sign that said Platform 9 3/4, they saw that it was only just before eleven. The Hogwarts Express should have been there for another two minutes, but it was nowhere to be seen. The missing scarlet steam engine was never more conspicuous than in its absence.

"Ginny? What happened?" Looking over to Ginny, Harry realized that Ginny not only had no idea, but she was looking like she was about to break down and cry... or throw a tantrum. Her face couldn't seem to decide whether to be white or red, and apparently had settled on blotchy red spots instead. Harry backed away a little bit.

"I missed the train! I missed the train!!" Ginny wailed, starting to pace. "Harry! I'm going to miss the Sorting! And if I don't get sorted, I won't be allowed into Hogwarts, and I'll never learn magic, and I won't get my O.W.L.s or N.E.W.T.s, and I won't get a job, and I'll..." she trailed off.

"N.E.W.T.’s?" Harry was starting to see what Ron meant by Ginny not being quiet. He wasn’t sure he’d ever heard her say that many words out loud, let alone directed at him.

"It stands for Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests,“ she dismissed, “ but that's not the point! We need to figure out a way to get to school! I have to get Sorted!" Ginny looked like she was on the verge of crying. Harry wasn't sure what he was supposed to do, and seemed frozen to the spot.

All of a sudden, something struck Harry. "Ginny, how did your Mum and Dad get back?"

"They know how to Apparate, of course. You know, just disappear and reappear somewhere else,“ she explained. “But we can't do that for years!"

"Then... how about the car?”

Ginny stopped dead. "The.....Harry, you're a genius!" She ran forward and started to hug Harry so hard he couldn't breathe, but less than a second passed before she jumped away as if scalded, her face as red as a cherry tomato. Harry, not wanting to embarrass her further, acted like nothing had happened.

"Well, let's go then! We don't have much time to lose!" They turned back to the platform exit and walked through it. Apparently, there must have been some kind of charm in place, because not one of the Muggles there noticed them appear out of a solid wall.

On the other side of the barrier, a house-elf snapped his fingers. "Harry Potter did not make it on the train. Dobby has done his job." The barrier glowed, and Dobby disappeared, leaving a mass of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles behind, waving on the train as it left the station.

Taking a few seconds for Ginny to catch up, Harry led the way through the crowded station to the Weasley's blue Ford Anglia. They were lucky, Harry thought, that it had been parked on a deserted street, so nobody would notice two children driving a car.

Double-checking that nobody was around, Ginny jabbed the Invisibility Booster, and suddenly the car disappeared. Harry blinked, and realized that not only had the car disappeared, but so had Ginny, and even his own body. Not even Hedwig could be seen.

"Hey, Ginny..…er, do you know how to fly this?"

"Of course! What do you take me for? Oh, but if anyone asks, you flew it."

"Why is tha-" The car took off at a high speed, rocketing up into the clouds. Harry felt his stomach turn over and took a moment to compose himself. He didn't think he would ever get used to flying cars. He guessed it was just something he'd have to remember: anything seemed to be possible with magic. He saw Ginny smirk at him, then look away, cheeks tinged a little pink.

Then he realized--he could see Ginny. He started to repeatedly press the knob in, panicked that they’d be seen, and opened his mouth to ask Ginny to help. But before he had a chance, Ginny shushed him and pointed out the window. Harry looked up and stopped short. There in front of him lay a beautiful sea of clouds, stretching as far as the eye could see, with a clear blue sky above, broken only by the sun shining brightly and just reaching the center of the sky.

"It's beautiful." Harry started at the voice, and then relaxed when he realized that it was only Ginny. Looking at the sky, he had to agree.

"Yeah, it really is." Ginny glanced over at Harry, realizing for the first time that she was actually having an intelligent discussion with him. You know, this isn't so bad. .

"By the way, if your parents Apparated home, then how were they planning on getting the car back?"

"Oh, my dad put a charm on it, so it'll drive itself home whenever they don't need it.“

"Well, I guess that makes sense." Silence reigned once again.

"So Ginny, what house do you think you're going to be in?" Ginny looked over at Harry like he had a dungbomb growing out of his head. "Ah, bad question. So, what class are you looking forward to?"

Ginny smiled, and thought it over for half a second. "I think I'm going to like Charms. There are just so many things you can do with them. How about you? I bet your favorite subject is potions, huh?" Ginny smirked again.

"What, do you think I'm crazy? Nah, I still haven't decided, but I'm going to say Transfiguration. It's rather neat to be able to turn something into something else." Ginny nodded, and then they sat in silence for a few minutes.

"So, Harry, I guess I should apologize." Ginny fidgeted a bit, looking the other way.

"For what?"

"Well, this summer I was always running away from you. I'm sure one of my dear brothers told you...." Ginny looked away, sounding bitter.

There was an awkward pause at this moment, which was broken a few seconds later by another rather embarrassed voice. "Yeah, they did. It's okay, though. It's not really bad, right?"

"I guess not. But still, I'm sorry." Ginny looked a bit ashamed.

Harry seemed to struggle with himself for a moment, and then opened his mouth to speak. "Like I said, there's nothing to be sorry about. It's fine. In fact, can you keep a secret?"

"You're going to tell me a secret? Why?" Ginny's face showed pure curiosity.

"Well, I found out one of your secrets, so it only seems fair for me to tell you one of mine."

"Okay, that makes sense. What is it?" Ginny looked over at him.

"You won't even tell Ron or Hermione?"

"No, I won't."

"Well...." Harry hesitated, and then plowed on, "I kind of liked...and don't laugh... the Grey Lady for a little while last year."

Ginny looked rather shocked. "Really?" Who's the Grey Lady? Is that a nickname for one of the girls at Hogwarts? Does he like another girl? But Ginny's fears were needless.

"Yes, but you know, she's a ghost, so I don't think it would work out that well."

Ginny felt relieved and giggled a little bit. "A ghost? No, that probably wouldn't work out very well."

"Promise you won't tell?"

"I won't, Harry."

"You know, you're the first I've ever done that with ,” he admitted, looking down at his hands as they twisted in his lap.

"What, shared secrets?"


Ginny watched him for a minute and Harry felt the need to look away under the weight of her gaze. He was startled when she spoke again, a sly smile on her face. "Hey, you want to try driving?"

Harry and Ginny flew for a while, enjoying each other's company, and discussing everyday things. It was peaceful; a stark contrast to the hectic scene that was this morning.

____________________________ ________________________________________ ___________________________________

It was around three when the storm arrived.

Rain was falling through the sky; a real downpour. Bolts of lightning would flash through it every now and then. Harry knew enough about the weather to realize there was no way to get away from it without losing the train that they could see every now and then below them.

"Harry, we can't get through this!"

The storm had popped out of nowhere, giving them no time to react. Harry was swerving back and forth, frantically trying to figure out a plan of action, and having no luck.

"I'm trying to think of a way we can make it through, Ginny."

"Well, try harder!"

"I'm thinking as fast as I can. Calm down Ginny, you're making me nervous."

"Calm down? Don't tell me to calm down; we're in the middle of a storm! I ought to - Aaahh!" Thunder cracked, and Ginny nearly jumped out of her seat.

"Ginny, lightning hits the highest object around, so if we go lower, we should be fine."

Harry was already dipping the car down, and began flying beside the train.

"I didn't know that's the way it worked," Ginny offered.

A bolt of lightning hit a tree to their left, and Ginny jumped again. "On second thought, I don't care how it works, I'm just glad it does. Harry, are you sure we'll be safe?"

"I'm trying, Ginny. Oi! Wait, what are you doing?" For Ginny had started waving her hands around her head.

"Don't mind me; I'm trying to get help!"

Sure enough, the people in the compartment were now staring out the window. One of them ran out, and the next thing they knew, a loud, squeaky voice was ringing throughout the car. Just like last year, a professor was on board in the case of an emergency. This time, it happened to be Professor Flitwick.

"What in the world? What's going on out there?"

Harry started to shout, hoping that Professor Flitwick would hear him. "Professor! It's Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley! We're trapped out here in the thunderstorm! Please help!" Another tree outside was hit by lightning, seemingly confirming their statement.

A few moments passed, and Professor Flitwick answered, "Alright, we're stopping the train. Head up to the front of it, and I'll see you there. I have quite a few questions, however."

Out of nowhere, another car appeared on the train just at the front, with an open roof. Assuming that they were supposed to land there, Harry flew in. An angry Professor Flitwick was waiting for them.

"What in Merlin's name were you doing in a flying car? Why were you not on the Hogwarts Express when it left from the station? Care to explain, Mr. Potter?"

Harry looked over at Ginny, and then back at Professor Flitwick. Realizing that they were in trouble, and seeing no way out of it, he proceeded to tell him the story, starting off from appearing on an empty Platform 9 3/4, to flying the car after the train, to the thunderstorm. All the while, Ginny was trying to explain that they did it because they had to, because they had no other choice and they were going to miss the sorting.

"Well then, Mr. Potter, I will not take points from Gryffindor house, but in the future, no more flying cars. Let's just have Hedwig send an owl. I understand the circumstances with you wanting to make sure you made it to the Sorting, young lady, as it is a once-in-a-lifetime event. So, I will not take points from... whichever house you get sorted into. Enjoy the ride, and you might want to change into your robes now. We will be arriving shortly." As he left, Harry could have sworn he heard him mutter "...have to discuss this with Dumbledore."

Harry and Ginny both got their robes out of their trunk and pulled them on over their clothes.

"So, Harry? When I get sorted into Gryffindor, will you sit next to me at the house table? I'd rather not face my brothers just yet." Ginny gave him a half-smile.

"Sure, but what if you don't get into Gryffindor?" Harry gave her a sly grin.

"I will," Ginny said, giving him a shove.

"Hey, why'd you do that to me?" Harry gave her a hurt look, and then grinned.

"Prat. I'm going to see Luna, so you should probably tell Ron and Hermione what happened. I'll see you at the table later."
_______________________________ ________________________________________ _______________________________

L una Lovegood was lonely. She always had been, until she met Ginny. People thought she was strange, and so she was stuck in a compartment alone. Why this always happened to her, she'd never figure out. And not even Ginny had been around for her to talk to.

Well, I suppose she has made lots of other friends now, so she doesn't need me anymore. Oh well, I'm going to have to get used to this for when she's in Gryffindor, and I'm in Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw.

Luna had only just finished thinking this when a young girl with red hair floated in, looking like she had been eating Honeydukes chocolates all day.

"Hello Ginny. I was wondering why you didn't meet me in the compartment like you promised."

"I'm sorry Luna, I can explain. But you'll never believe what just happened!"

And just like that, Ginny was instantly forgiven.
______________________________________ ________________________________________ _________________________

"Weasley, Ginevra"


As Ginny Weasley sat down at the Gryffindor table next to Harry Potter, Ron gave her a suspicious look. Ginny could only smile.

"I told you I'd be in Gryffindor."
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