Hogwarts in France
Disclaimer: Nothing you might recognise belongs to me.
"Arrghhh!" screamed Harry Potter, "I can't take it anymore!"
He paced around the Gryffindor common room; unconsciously brushing the irritating stray bit of black hair that fell over his eyes.
"What's wrong?" asked Ron. Hermione looked up from her eight inch Transfiguration essay on Animagus transformations, looking concerned.
"What's wrong? It's the Easter holidays. It's over our year until our NEWTs! Yet the Professors insist on giving us mountain loads of homework!" Harry exploded.
"Well, it will help us in the long run," Hermione said, timidly, "I mean, by spreading it out we won't have to revise as much just before the exams!"
Ron snorted. "Like that will stop you from giving us those wonderful revision timetables again!"
Hermione's face lit up. "That reminds me Ron! I haven't given you this year's yet!" She hurriedly got up and ran up the girl's stairs.
"Nice one, Ron!" said Harry, sarcastically, still in a bad mood. Ron flushed crimson.
"I'm going out for a fly on my broom. See if that will make me feel better. Want to come?" said Harry, rubbing his forehead, agitatedly.
"No thanks mate," said Ron, "I'll stay here with Hermione."
Harry smirked. It was so obvious that Ron liked Hermione. "Alright, if you're sure. See you soon!"
He left the common room and walked briskly through school. He began to think about the huge amounts of homework he still had to complete before term began again in just over a week.
"Stupid homework! Stupid teachers giving us too much stupid homework. Merlin I need a break! But oh no stupid teachers keep our noses to the grindstone and make us work so hard. Bet I'll have a mental breakdown before long!" he muttered under his breath.
"What was that, Harry?" asked a pleasant voice. Harry looked up at the unidentified speaker.
"Oh, hello Professor Dumbledore," he grunted, not in the mood to have a conversation with the Headmaster.
Dumbledore looked at Harry, concerned. "Are you alright?" he asked,
"I've been better," muttered Harry, scowling,
"How so?" asked the Headmaster,
"I'm just feeling overworked with all the homework I have to do and everything that's going on," said Harry, honestly, seeing a kindly and concerned glint in Dumbledore's eyes.
"Ah," said Professor Dumbledore, "Well, we'll have to deal with that. And I think I have just the idea. Yes, just the idea! Ah ha!" He rubbed his hands together, thinking hard. "Well, Harry. If you'll come to my office tonight at eight o'clock and bring Mr. Weasley, Mr. Longbottom, Miss. Granger and Miss. Weasley with you? I think I have just the solution to your problem!"
"Erm, alright sir," said Harry, completely stumped,
"Very well. I will see you tonight. Enjoy the rest of your day, Harry!" Dumbledore nodded at Harry, beaming, and continued on his way.
Harry stood completely still for a minute. He was completely mystified by Dumbledore's odd behaviour. He shook his head. He needed a good long fly.
"WHAT!" gasped six voices on hearing Dumbledore's plan.
"Just what I said," replied Dumbledore, mildly, "The six of you, along with Professor's McGonagall and Lupin, will leave tomorrow night on a week long holiday to France, in order to de-stress yourselves."
He surveyed the room in quiet amusement. The faces of the five Gryffindors and one Slytherin were agape in astonishment and disbelief.
"But…why?" spluttered Ron,
"Simply, because I believe you six are working much too hard and deserve a little holiday," explained Dumbledore,
"Why us exactly?" asked Hermione, looking around the room,
"I have my reasons," said Dumbledore, mysteriously.
Harry groaned inwardly. He hated it when Dumbledore said that. 'But why did Malfoy of all people have to come with them?'
Ron obviously wanted to know the answer to the same question because of the way he was glaring at Draco Malfoy. Malfoy was glaring just as fiercely back.
"Why do I have to spend time with these…Gryffindors?" Malfoy asked, scowling, "If I have to go at all, why can't I go with people who are equals to me in things that matter?"
Ron erupted. "Shut up Malfoy!" he yelled, "Everybody here is better than you in everyway possible! What makes you think you're better than us?"
"Hmm. I wonder Weasel," drawled Malfoy, "Maybe because I, unlike you and Weaslette, am rich. Also, I, unlike Potter and Longbottom have parents and I, unlike Granger, am not a mudblood!"
"How dare you?" yelled Ginny, her face flushing red, "How dare you call Hermione a mudblood? I'd rather have Muggle parents than be like you!"
"Yeah!" said Harry, angrily, "And even though Neville and I might not be able to live with our parents, at least they're better than yours! I'd kill myself if Lucius Malfoy was related to me!"
"Well, go and kill yourself and do everyone a favour!" spat Malfoy.
"Enough!" thundered Dumbledore, immediately silencing everyone. "You will be living with one another for a week in a tiny gite in the north of France and going on excursions with each other every day so I suggest you learn to treat one another with respect!"
Everybody glowered silently.
"Anyway," said Dumbledore, "Tomorrow, you will need to pack some clothes in the trunks I will have sent to your dormitories. You will have one trunk each and in it pack whatever you think you will need for a week in north France. You will be acting as Muggles outside of the gite so be prepared and take Muggle clothing. If you don't have any, you will be provided with some. You will be travelling down to Dover tomorrow night by minibus…"
"What is a minibus?" snarled Malfoy,
"It's a Muggle vehicle," said Dumbledore, "Then you will be crossing the English Channel by ferry- that's a Muggle vehicle that travels on water."
Neville, Ginny and Ron gasped in astonishment. Malfoy just looked sulky.
"Professor's McGonagall and Lupin will inform you on the rest of the information tomorrow. Please meet them in the Great Hall at quarter to eleven tomorrow evening. Any questions?" asked Professor Dumbledore,
"What about money?" asked Harry,
"You can take any of your own pocket money but there will be a group fund to pay for food and days out," answered Dumbledore, promptly, "Miss. Granger?"
"Does either of the professor's speak French?" asked Hermione, "And will we be able to meet some French witches and wizards?"
"Professor Lupin does speak French," the Headmaster said, "And I believe you are scheduled to visit Beauxbatons on one of the days."
Hermione smiled in excitement and happiness. Harry felt happy for her. He knew she'd always wanted to visit a foreign Wizarding school.
"Well, if that is all, it's time you all went to bed," Dumbledore concluded, "I wish you a most pleasant week and do not hesitate to send me a postcard!"
The Gryffindors laughed. "Goodnight, sir," they chorused and walked excitedly out of the door, followed by a grudging Malfoy. It was going to be an exciting week.
The five Gryffindors met for breakfast the next day, in the Great Hall. They were all happy and excited at their unexpected holiday.
"I can't believe we're going to visit Beauxbatons!" squealed Hermione, in glee,
"Yeah," said Ron, "I wonder what else we're doing?"
"Well we know it's going to be something in the north of France," said Ginny, sensibly, "Paris is in the north isn't it?"
"Yeah," confirmed Harry, "I've never been to France. It should be good!"
"Yes. I've never been either," said Neville, his round face shining with pleasure.
Professor Lupin passed the Gryffindor table at that moment. He spotted them and came over.
"Hey," he greeted, "Your trunks have been taken to your dormitories so pack after breakfast. Take some recreational stuff as well as clothes, for the evenings and take your stationery equipment too. Alright?"
"Yes," answered everyone,
"See you all later then," Professor Lupin said and moved off.
"Honestly, are you still not packed, Ronald?" said Hermione, entering the sixth year boys dormitory with Ginny, to see a disaster area of clothes everywhere.
"Hey! Harry and Neville aren't packed either!" said Ron, "And I bet you two aren't finished yet either!"
"We've packed all of our clothes. We just came to decide what 'recreational stuff' we should take and in who's trunk," said Hermione,
"Books in Hermione's trunk!" called out Harry, causing a laugh from everybody present,
"I'll take my wizards chess set in my trunk," said Ron, "And everyone else take their own set of pieces if you have them,"
"I'll take my Gobstones set," said Neville,
"Right and I'll pack a few sets of Exploding Snap," Ginny announced,
"Ron, Ginny? Do either of you have any Dr. Filibuster's Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks?" asked Harry, rummaging in his trunk for his socks,
"Good idea, Harry!" said Ron, "Yeah, Fred and George left a couple and I've never had a chance to use them. Oh, take your Invisibility Cloak too, Harry!"
"OK," said Harry, "Hey Hermione, what clothes are you actually taking?"
"Dissendium!" whispered Harry, tapping the statue of the one-eyed humped witch on the third floor. It silently slid open and Harry, Ron and Neville slid inside.
Approximately half an hour later, the three Gryffindors climbed silently out of the trapdoor in Honeyduke's cellar. They crept up the stairs and out from behind the counter.
"Get some chocolate frogs," Harry told Ron. Neville quickly picked up several packets of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and added them to the ever-growing pile of Magical sweets. Within five minutes, the three boys decided they had more than enough and paid up. It came to four Galleons, six Sickles and three Knuts. Neville could hardly believe how much candy they had just bought.
"Well, they might not have it over in France," remarked Ron later when they got back to the Gryffindor Common room, "And I bet it'll be a long journey. Muggle transport always takes ages!"
"What did you buy?" asked Ginny, awestruck at the amount of food there.
"Hmm," said Harry, "We have chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, Fizzing Whizbees, Droobles Best Blowing Gum, Liquorice Wands, Chocoballs, Ice Mice and Jelly Slugs!"
"Golly!" was all Hermione and Ginny could say.
Finally, it was half past ten and Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville were all ready to leave. They were dressed in their warmest Muggle clothing and had their wands secured safely. Their trunks were all packed and ready to be levitated downstairs. Currently, the Gryffindors were doing a last minute check of their dormitories to make sure they hadn't left anything behind.
"Toothbrush, Ron!" laughed Harry, brandishing the offending object in Ron's face,
"Ooops," said Ron, blushing.
"Come on!" whispered Hermione up the stairs, "We better get going!"
Neville, Ron and Harry whispered "Wingardium Leviosa!" and their trunks glided down the boy's stairs in front of them. They met Ginny and Hermione in the common room. Everyone grinned in excitement. They softly said goodbye to the remaining Gryffindors in the common room and exited through the portrait of the Fat Lady.
"Have a good time!" she said, to their retreating backs.
The five Gryffindors arrived in the Great Hall just on a quarter to eleven to find a sulky looking Malfoy and the Professor's McGonagall, Lupin and Dumbledore waiting for them.
"Ah, you have arrived," said Dumbledore, pleasantly, "Well; I will come and see you off. I trust you have everything you need."
Everybody nodded and quietly followed Professor Dumbledore out of Hogwarts and down the green slopes to the gate. They passed by Hagrid's hut on the way. He came out and wished them a good holiday.
"Thanks Hagrid, said Harry, "Come and see us off?"
"Alright," agreed Hagrid.
Waiting at the gates of Hogwarts was an average sixteen- seater minibus with a trailer attached.
"Why do we need a trailer?" asked Neville, in surprise, "Shouldn't we be able to shrink the trunks?"
"It's to keep up appearances," explained Professor McGonagall," We are staying in a Muggle village."
Neville nodded and handed Hagrid his trunk to put in the trailer.
"Here," said Professor Lupin opening up the minibus, "Get in and make yourselves comfortable. No squabbling over seats!"
The six students did as they were told. Malfoy immediately sat in the seat at the back and sat staring at the Gryffindors.
"Look there's enough seats for everyone to have a double," said Hermione, "That way we'll all have plenty of room."
"Good idea," said Harry.
Neville and Ron sat in the two sets of double seats in front of Malfoy and Ginny and Hermione took the two doubles in front of them. That left Harry with the long three seater at the front of the minibus behind the long driver's seat. He sank down onto it gratefully and grinned back at the others. Four people smiled back and one person scowled, crossing his arms.
"Are we ready to go then?" asked Professor McGonagall, climbing into the front passenger seat next to Professor Lupin.
"Yeah," came various replies from the students,
"OK, then. Put your seat belts on. That's the elastically straps attached to the seats. Pull it over your shoulder and down across your lap and secure it in the holster at your side. Everybody sorted? Good," instructed McGonagall.
"Professor Lupin?" said Harry, softly. The greying man turned around to face Harry. "Call me Remus on this trip, Harry," he smiled.
"OK, Remus," Harry said, "You can drive can't you?"
Remus chuckled. "Yes, Harry. When Sirius bought his motorbike he had all of us take a driving test when he did. I chose to do a car driving test luckily. You're in safe hands, don't worry."
Harry grinned. "Take us away then!"
Remus started the engine and took off the brake.
"Goodbye Professor Dumbledore! Goodbye Hagrid!" called the occupants of the mini-bus, waving frantically out of the windows at the two men outside.
"Have a good time!" they called back, waving.
Remus put the minibus into gear and slowly they drove off, cheering. They were off to France at last.
Notes: OK, here is chapter one of nine chapters. I will churn them out as fast as possible and aim to have this story finished by the beginning of September.
Review please. Constructive criticism is gladly received.