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Up in the Air
By quinn

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Category: First Time for Everything Challenge (2019-2), First Time For Everything Challenge (2019-2)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 19
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.
Hitcount: Story Total: 15906; Chapter Total: 2475
Awards: View Trophy Room


Harry dragged the two trunks over to the Ministry car, joining Arthur who was already loading bags into the trunk. He glanced over a shoulder and dropped the bags with a happy shout, wrapping Harry in a hug.

“I was just here this morning, Mr. Weasley…”

Arthur pulled back, slapping Harry on the shoulder. “And now you are back! Ready to fly, Harry?”

Harry rubbed the back of his neck. “Looking forward to it.”

Arthur smiled broadly, going back to the task of loading the car. “Where is Ginny?”

“She’s already inside. Wanted to see George and Mrs. Weasley, I suppose.”

Arthur finished loading, leaning against the car. “And what am I, yesterday’s news?” He smiled with a sigh. “Molly’s always gotten first hugs. It’s because she has treats. And I’m sure Ginny’s hungry… Not like she had a chance to get anything on the Hogwarts Express, did she?”

Harry froze, going pale. “Mr. Weasley, I… how did you find out?”

Arthur raised an eyebrow as Harry heard footsteps behind him.

“Tut tut, Harry. He doesn’t know anything, unless your face just told him.” Harry turned with a grin. George Weasley nodded to him with a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Dad thinks he’s clever. He’ll trick you into getting yourself in trouble. Don’t trust him.”

Arthur wrapped an arm around Harry. “And what, he should trust you?”

George shrugged. “I’m sure I’ll hear more than I want. Harry talks in his sleep.” Harry stammered, but George cut him off. “And you WILL be sleeping in Charlie’s room, with Charlie and me… I find your cot empty ONE TIME and you’re a test subject for Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes all new Diminishing Dust… a very specific formula. Seems to only affect — “

Arthur coughed. “I think he gets the picture, George.”

“It’d be nice to do some more testing on it. Merlin knows I’m not going to test it on myself…. I haven’t found a way to reverse it yet.”

“Haven’t found a way to reverse what?” Molly’s voice was suspicious as she joined the group by the car, Ginny just behind her with a mouthful of tart. “You’d better not be trying to drive that car, George.”

George pouted. “Ah, Mum. You know how to ruin a bloke’s fun. I’ll sit in the back… between Harry and Ginny.”

Ginny scoffed. “I don’t think —“

Molly nodded her approval. “That sounds perfect. You can help each other behave. I’ll have your wands if you don’t.”

Arthur cleared his throat. “Actually, Molly… I’ll be needing all of your wands.”

“What?!” The word, shouted in chorus, made Arthur wince.

“Now that we’re all ready to go, I’ve got a few last minute instructions. I checked in with Fowley over in the Muggle Relations Department, and it turns out you can’t bring wands on planes.”

Molly’s jaw was set. “Arthur, you can’t be serious.”

Ginny and George had stepped back, holding their wands away from their father.

Arthur nodded sheepishly. “Apparently, they interfere with the Muggle security systems and the plane’s gravitational systems…”

Harry held up a finger. “I think that’s navigational systems, Mr. Weasley.”

Ginny gaped at Harry. “YOU. You KNEW about this? You’re dragging us into a metal Muggle deathtube without our wands?”

Harry held up a hand. “That seems a bit over the top, Gin…”

George shook his head slowly. “Sounds about right to me.”

“Actually,” Arthur interjected, “not just wands. All magical items need to go in this case.” He tapped it with his toe. “We can get them out after we land in Romania.”

Molly held a hand to her temple. “And you waited until now to tell me? Arthur Weasley, I swear if you make me…”

Arthur glanced at Harry, nodding, his eyes communicating that it was time to pull out the big guns. Harry caught the signal and cleared his throat.

“We don’t have to go, Mrs. Weasley. It’s okay. The tickets can’t be refunded… but that doesn’t matter. Besides… I’m sure Dudley lied about how amazing planes were after all those vacations… the ones where they left me behind…”

Molly’s anger melted immediately. Before Ginny and George could react, she swiped their wands and pressed all three into Arthur’s hands, then pulled Harry into a hug that squeezed the air from his lungs. “Nonsense, dear. I’m sure it will be lovely.”

She broke the hug, a hand on his cheek, then stepped past her two children, looks of betrayal and disbelief on their faces. “Come on, you two. We’ve got to get to the airport! We have a plane to catch!” She climbed into the car, the door closing with a bang.

Ginny glared at him. It took a moment for words to come. “You… you’re lucky George is sitting between us, Potter.” She turned, climbing into the car.

Harry glanced at George, surprised at the glimmer in his eyes… was that respect? “Not bad. We’ll make a Weasley out of you yet.” George turned to climb into the middle seat.

“Well, Harry? Shall we?”

Harry nodded. “But… Mr. Weasley? George was joking about that Diminishing Dust, wasn’t he?”

Arthur looked grim. “Joking? Probably. I’d still keep an eye on my tea if I were you.”

Ginny sat on the bench on the other side of security, grumbling as she retied her shoes. Harry put an arm around her and she flinched away. “Hands off, Potter. I’m still mad at you.”

He sighed. “Gin, you know I —“

Her eyes flashed up at him. “Don’t you Gin me. Where did they take George?”

Harry looked over to the office where the security officer had taken George, speaking in a very low voice. “Well… I imagine they are searching him. He must have had some sort of explosive residue on his hands…”

Ginny pinched him in the arm. “It’s George!” Her whisper carried venom… she wasn’t sure if that was what made Harry wince, or if it was her pinch. She didn’t really care. “Of course he has explosive residue on his hands!”

Molly joined them, a forced smile on her face. “Well, that was interesting, wasn’t it? Ginny, dear, will you help me pry your father away from the guards? He won’t let up with his questions about their X rated machines…”

Harry blushed. “Um, I think you mean…”

Ginny elbowed him. “Yes, Mother. Harry and I will both go look at the X rated machines with Dad.”

Molly smiled. “Thank you, dear.” She glanced around. “Where’s your brother?”

Harry couldn’t believe how long two hours in an airport could feel. Harry still wasn’t sure how George had gotten through security — he had emerged from the office alone, the sound of wild laughter echoing from behind him. Harry had asked, but George had only shot him a wink.

He sat in the terminal, waiting for the call to board. It had to be soon. Arthur sat next to him, excitedly pointing at every take off and landing, asking Harry how the various equipment worked, from the de-icing to the baggage belts loading the planes… Harry had taken to making up answers to pass the time.

“Gerbils, Mr. Weasley. Hundreds of gerbils in hundreds of wheels, all running together. Those make the belt move up and the bags go into the plane.”

Ginny had dragged Molly to go look at the shops, though Harry has sure it had little to do with a desire to browse high-end perfume and watches. Molly had gasped and groaned with every take off and landing they watched… And Ginny didn’t look much better.

And George… well, Harry had no idea where he was.

“You really don’t mind, Harry? I know it’s your first flight too, but we only have one window seat, and I’ve always…”

Harry smiled. “I don’t mind, Mr. Weasley.” He glanced at his watch. Only an hour and a half until boarding.
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