Dinner was like getting your nails pulled out of your fingers one bye one. To put it bluntly, not pleasant. No one wanted to sit beside him, even though his name was on all of their lips. Hermione, Neville and the twins were the only people who wanted to sit beside him.
"Don't mind them Harry. It'll blow over soon enough, don't worry," Hermione said over dinner. Neville gave her a sceptical look, but didn't say anything. Harry glanced up from his food, and looked around himself. Everyone was throwing glances their way, but they looked away quickly when Harry caught their eye.
"To be honest Hermione, I don't mind them staying away from me. I kind of like it. But the part that I don't like is them talking about me, and knowing all that stuff about my past. It bothers me because it's none of their business. I'll admit that my past is a bit more colourful then the next wizard, but that doesn't give everyone the right to know when the last time I took a piss was. I like my privacy and I'm not getting it here," Harry said loudly with frustration clearly lacing his voice.
The people closest to Harry and his friends tried to move further away, their faces filled with disgust or fear. An older girl from Gryffindor walked over to them and sat down beside George. Fred snickered into his food while his twin sagged down in his seat slightly.
"Hello Alicia," George said with tired patience. She smiled toothily, showing off some off her crooked yellowish teeth.
"Hi George! So, I was wondering if you wanted to go to Hogsmeade with me?" she asked in a nasal voice, ignoring everyone else. Harry pushed his food around on his plate, but decided that if he was breaking into Gringotts, he would need all his strength.
"Actually, I have plans with Fred already," George said, nudging his twin discreetly. Alicia's eyes narrowed, but her smile was still in place.
"But Fred is probably going with Hermione." She tried, gesturing to the bushy brown headed bookworm. Hermione looked up from her food with a bored expression on her face.
"I am going with Fred, but I'm going with George too. They sort of come in a package. You want one but you get two," Hermione said with a shrug and continued eating. Alicia's eyes widened and her thin lips parted.
"You mean you've hogged both of them?!" She said loudly, pointing an accusing finger at Hermione, making a lot of heads turn. She dropped her fork and looked up at the older girl.
"Of course not, but I'm sort of dating Fred, which means that George will come along too. They're always together. You can't split them apart. That's just wrong," she said calmly. Alicia gave her an icy glare, and under a second, her eyes softened as they turned back to George.
"But surely you could take one day off to be with little me?" she said with a pout. Harry rolled his eyes at her stupidity, but didn't say anything.
"It's not work Alicia, and I like hanging out with them," George said defensively. Alicia's eyes narrowed into a glare, and she crossed her arms over her flat chest.
"Are you going with someone else?" she asked sharply, making George jump at her tone.
"I- I um, well, you see-" George started.
"He doesn't like you that way, so get over it and bug someone else," Harry mumbled to himself, apparently a little too loudly. George's head whipped around, his eyes filled with gratefulness. "Tell her!" he mouthed, panicked.
"What did you sa, Potty?" Alicia sneered nastily, and Harry wondered, briefly, why she wasn't in Slytherin. Harry sighed, dropped his fork and gave all his attention to the annoying girl.
"I said, he doesn't like you that way, so get over it and go bug someone else," He said with a shrug, and then turned back to his food. Alicia gasped loudly and whipped her head in George's direction dramatically. Hermione rolled her eyes and mumbled something about brain dead witches these days.
"Is it true?" She stage whispered. Harry was surprised that no one paid attention to her little show, but maybe they were used to it.
"Yes," George said, ducking his head to hide his smile. Alicia stood up and ran out of the hall, crying her eyes out. Again, no one paid attention to the overly dramatic girl.
Neville was shaking with suppressed laughter, his face turning red.
"Something funny, Neville?" George asked in a serious tone. Neville looked up fearfully, still slightly scared of the older boys. Harry rolled his eyes at him but continued to eat his food. He really didn't have time for this. And he wanted to leave now, even though he knew he couldn't. Gringotts was still full of goblins, and the teachers would notice if he tried to fly away now.
"N-no, I-I, um, I was j-just-," Neville tried to explain away, but George and Fred broke out into uncontrollable laughter, making the flustered boy smile hesitantly.
"You need to lighten up, we're just joking with you," Fred said, stuffing more food into his mouth. Neville nodded his head and smiled a true smile. Harry felt someone kick his foot, and he glanced up at Hermione. She leaned over the table, and Harry did the same.
"I know you're up to something," She hissed, and Harry stared back at her without emotion. He raised one onyx eyebrow questioningly.
"And what, pray tell, am I up to?" he asked dryly, wondering how she'd been able to pick up on it. True, he'd been preoccupied all day with his thoughts. He'd even tried to calm down rather then throwing himself head first onto every annoying snob. But Hermione didn't know Harry that well, so how could she know that this wasn't he's usual behaviour?
"I don't know. But you're planning something. If you'd tell me, I might be able to help," she whispered, throwing a quick glance at the twins and Neville, who were trying in vain to get the shy boy to play pranks with them. Harry put some more food in his mouth to get some thinking time. He didn't know if he could trust her. Harry had always been good at reading people, and his instincts were telling him that he could trust the bookworm. But he didn't know. Not for real anyway. "You can trust me. I'm your friend. You can trust the twins as well," she whispered even more quietly, while she threw a sideways glance at the teachers table.
"I don't know what you're talking about Hermione. Honestly, I'm not up to anything," Harry lied smoothly. He felt bad about lying to her, since she was becoming such a good friend. But it was for the best, really. If he got caught, he'd be in a lot of trouble. And it was better to go down that road alone, rather then taking Hermione down with him. She was smart, and she had a feature. Harry didn't know how his feature looked like, seeing as the whole reason he was at Hogwarts was because hundreds of people were after his head. He's guesses were not so bright.
Hermione's eyes held disappointment and determination.
"Alright then, don't tell me. But I'm on to you Harry James Potter, and I will find out," she said threateningly with a glare. Harry smiled at her mysteriously.
"And what if you're setting yourself up for a huge disappointment?" he questioned her with raised eyebrows. Her glare hardened.
"Harry, I'm not stupid. I might not know you, but I can tell that something is on your mind, and that you're up to something. It's written all over you. Wanting the map, testing out your wings and flying abilities. Please, I'm surprised no one else has noticed it yet. And your ears move every time you lie, so don't even try," she said matter-of-factly, taking a sip of her pumpkin juice.
"And why should I tell you?" Harry asked her not so lightly anymore. She glanced his way as she cut up some meat on her plate.
"So you admit that you're up to something?" she asked smartly. Harry cursed quietly. He glared at her, and was pleased to note that she didn't look quite as cocky anymore. Nevertheless, she didn't back down.
"I'm not telling you. Just stay out of it," Harry snapped, and saw that both of his hands started smoking slightly. The twins and Neville stopped their happy chattering and glanced over at the arguing friends.
"You can trust me Harry," Hermione said quietly. Harry closed his eyes and took a deep breath, calming himself.
"Probably, but it's better if you just stay out of it," Harry said, standing up. Hermione opened her mouth to retort, but Fred beat her to it.
"What's going on? Where are you going Harry? They haven't even brought out the desert yet," Fred said, confused. Harry glanced down at him and back at Hermione's frustrated face.
"Nothing's going on. And I lost my appetite. I'm going up to the common room." He said quietly, while all eyes were on him. Harry walked out of the hall, and his sensitive ears heard all the whisperers that broke out as soon as his wings were out of sight. But he couldn't be bothered by that now.
Harry spread his wings and flew the rest of the way up to the common room. He was surprised at the speed. It was much faster then the broom, and the adrenaline kick of flying inside rather then outside was unbelievable.
Outside he could fly wherever he wanted, but inside the building, he had to twist and turn, watch so his wings didn't get caught in a picture hanging on the wall. It was training up his reflexes. And it was probably going to be like that when he had to fly through Gringotts.
Harry flew up the boys' staircase, but was forced to walk when he couldn't stretch his wings out anymore. No one was inside, seeing as it was in the middle of dinner. The room was a mess, and Harry wondered briefly if they'd done anything to his stuff. As long as he had the map, which was in his pocket, Harry didn't really care if they'd taken or done anything to his stuff.
He flung himself on his bed, tucking in his wings as he went. Folding his arms behind his head, he thought about what Hermione had said.
Could he trust her? Yes, he knew by instinct that he could. But this was such a vital thing. If she slipped up, or if someone found out, he'd never get the chance to break into Gringotts. But then again, Hermione had been in the wizarding world longer then Harry and she probably knew all about Gringotts. She could help him a great deal…
There was a knock on the door, and before Harry could answer it, Hermione and the twins barged in. Fred put some sort of spell on the door before they all turned to him.
"I'm sorry Harry, but they'd been listening in on our conversation. You can trust them to though," she said hurriedly when she saw Harry's glare.
"What part of 'Stay out of it' don't you understand Hermione?" Harry asked sharply, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger. Fred and George jumped on Harry's bed, sitting cross-legged at the end. Hermione sat down timidly beside Fred.
"I'm sorry Harry, but I really want to help you. We're friends, and that's what friends do. I can see that you're struggling with this, and perhaps we can make it easier for you," she explained urgently.
"Where's Neville?" Harry asked, ignoring her statement.
"He heard too, but he wanted to stay out of it," George spoke up. Harry nodded his head and glanced down at his pocket where the map was.
"We'll make you a deal Harry," Fred said, looking over at his twin. George smirked and nodded his head.
"We'll show you our very own map, and tell you every single secret behind every prank we've ever pulled, and the ones we're going to pull. And, we'll never prank you. Ever," George said seriously. Harry looked him in the eyes, then his twin and Hermione. They were all sincere, and serious. Harry sighed.
"Please guys, I don't doubt that your honesty. And I know I can trust you. But it's better for you if you just stay out of it." Hermione was rolling her eyes long before he was done.
"Tell us, and if it's too dangerous we won't interfere. But let us decide if it's best if we stay out of it or not," Hermione said with a huff, crossing her arms over her chest. Harry raised his eyebrows and sighed again.
"I'm breaking into Gringotts." He said bluntly, crossing his own arms over his chest. The trio's eyes widened and their jaws were hanging open.
"Harry! That's sick! No one in history has ever managed to break into Gringotts before. This is really serious stuff you're talking about, please say you're joking," Hermione pleaded. Harry shook his head and looked at both of the twins.
"This has got to be-"
"The most wicked thing-"
"We've ever heard. Count us in." Said both of the twins together.
"You could be expelled from Hogwarts, or sent to Azkaban," Harry said, surprised that they would even consider helping him. This wasn't like sneaking into the kitchens.
"Harry, if you need money I can give it to you, but please, for the love of Merlin, don't break into Gringotts." Hermione pleaded with him.
"I'm not doing it for money. I couldn't care less about that. I'm saving someone's life here," Harry said, slightly offended that she thought he would go to such extremes to get money.
"Saving someone. From a bank?" Fred asked, scepticism lazing his tone. Harry nodded his head and sat up a little more.
"Yeah. I was visiting Gringotts today and this other cart came from the opposite way, so we had to slow down. I took a look around and saw the most beautiful girl in the world. But the thing is... she had wings, just like me. And one of the Goblins was talking about the new dragon or something right before I saw her. They had her chained up and she's hurt. I have to save her," Harry said in an almost pleading tone.
"But what was she doing there?" Hermione asked herself more then the others.
"Isn't it obvious? If she's like me, then she can breathe fire. She's probably a part of the security," Harry said with a shrug. He didn't really care why she was in there. He only wanted to get her out.
"Well, have you thought this through? You can't just rush in there like some maniac. Do you even know the way?" Hermione asked him, her eyes calculating.
"I know she's right by vault 403. And I can almost remember the way down there. I've thought it through, and I don't really care about what sort of consequences I'll have to face. The only important thing is getting her out of there," Harry told her confidently. Hermione nodded and looked over to the silent twins.
"Count me in. I think your crazy for doing this, but I'll help anyway," she told him with a smile. Harry beamed back at them, and it seemed like two huge stones were lifted from his shoulders.
"Okay, we need to make a plan," Hermione said, going into bossy mode. The twins grinned at each other but didn't say anything.
"But I have a plan!" Harry told them, taking out a crumbled peace of paper.
"Let's hear it then," Hermione said, smirking slightly.
"When everyone in the castle is sleeping, I'll open the window and fly to London, break into the Leaky Cauldron, then break into Gringotts, get down there, burn away the chains, and fly back out," Harry told her proudly. He was very satisfied with his plan, and confident that it would work.
"Then we need a proper plan. You wouldn't even get into The Leaky Cauldron with that plan. This is the wizarding world Harry. You can't just get a lock open and waltz right in. We have magic for a reason, and everyone is using it to get the tightest security on their shops. Luckily, you don't have to break into The Leaky Cauldron, because it's always open. Diagon Ally on the other hand, will be a little trickier," Hermione explained patiently. Harry's brow furrowed.
"How come?" He asked her, confused.
"Because, no shops in Diagon Alley are open in the middle of the night. Tom's going to ask you what you're doing there."
"Then I'll just lie," Harry said, not really seeing the problem. Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes.
"And the next day, every single paper in the world is going to ask who broke into Gringotts, and Tom has the answer. You see my point?" she asked him.
Harry nodded, but then thought about something else. "Can't you stun him with your wand or something?"
"And how would I be getting there?" Hermione asked him, her eyes looking a little unsure.
"Why don't we take first things first?" Fred asked them, breaking the silence. "Forge and I can get you out of the castle," Fred said, pointing his finger to an old piece of parchment.
"But you need to run for a while, into the forbidden forest. When you're deep enough in, fly the rest of the way to London. When you get there, use your invisibility cloak," George continued, holding up the silvery fabric.
"Hey, how do you know about that?" Harry asked, staring at them in shock. He'd never showed it to anyone.
"Please, we know everything around here. And by the way, we need to borrow this for some pranks in the future," Fred said offhandedly.
"Where was I? Right, use the cloak so no one will see you, and sneak into Diagon Alley. Obviously you can't fly with the cloak on so you'll have to walk there too," George continued.
"Gringotts is open, but the Goblins are smart. They'll know something's up when the doors open and close by themselves," Hermione said, flipping through some books.
"Why are the doors open?" Harry asked. That sounded sort of stupid, having a bank open in the middle of the night.
"Because, they're confident in their security."
Harry thought that was even more stupid. The most obvious security would be to lock the damn doors. "So how will I get in, if the doors are open but I can't go through?" Harry asked, confused.
"You could take Hermione with you." George suggested. Fred shook his head.
"And let her take the blame? No, I don't think so. The ministry will be all over her, wondering what she was doing there," Fred said, and Hermione nodded her head in agreement.
"Do you guys think the ministry knows about this?" she asked the room when no one said anything.
"Probably not. Goblins go by their own rules, and it does say that they can use dragons as security," Fred said, surprising both Hermione and Harry.
"And how would you know?" Hermione asked with a smirk.
"I read too you know," He said, pretending to be offended.
"And we had it as homework last week," George added, making them laugh.
"But how will I get in though?" Harry asked when they quieted down.
"I don't know. You could make the goblin at the entrance go inside, and just follow him in," George said with a shrug.
"But we don't know if he's still standing there. I mean, it's in the middle of the night. Why should he be there?" Hermione said thoughtfully.
"They're goblins. Who knows why they do any of the weird stuff they do? He's probably there though," Fred said dismissively.
"We'll just have to count on it, and if he's not there I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out. So, I'm inside the building, and from there I need to find the door we were taken to get to the vaults," Harry said, already forming a plan inside his head.
"Wait a minute! I don't know if you've ever noticed, but on those doors, there're small runes in the left corner at the top of the door. They might be able to help you find vault 403 faster," Hermione said excitedly, making all of them look at her questioningly.
"What? I notice things like that." She said defensively.
"I can't read runs though, so I don't think they'd be that big of a help for me. But I think I know the way from the door we went through, so I'll go with that one," Harry said, not wanting to waste any time on wrong turns.
"I fly the rest of the way down there, rescue the girl and we can fly back out again." Harry said with a smile. Just thinking about her made him feel giddy, which scared him slightly.
"You don't know if she can fly though," George pointed out.
"But she's got wings, just like me," Harry said, confused.
"Yeah but you learned to fly this morning Harry. And you don't know if she's ever tested out her wings before. She is chained up, after all," Fred reminded him.
"She looked to be about my age, maybe a year younger. But if she can't fly, I'll carry her back to Hogwarts," Harry said confidently, making Hermione look at him sceptically.
"Harry, you don't like it when people touch you. You can't even shake someone's hand for more then a second without flinching. How are you going to carry a girl you don't even know?" She asked him softly, making both of the twins look at him in surprise.
"Because I'd do anything to get her out of there, even if it meant touching her. And I have no problems with carrying Fay, or being hugged by Jack or Crystal," Harry told her defensively. He could do it. He knew he could.
"Alright, if you're sure. Okay so you're out of the vaults, now you need a distraction to open the doors again. Let's just hope that the invisibility cloak can hide the both of you," Hermione continued. Both of the twins' eyes lit up, and they looked at each other mischievously.
"Let us take care of distractions," They said at the same time, while they hopped of the bed and ran out of the room. Harry raised an eyebrow questioningly, but Hermione only shrugged as an answer.
"Right, well, there's a barrier over Diagon Ally, which means that you can't fly in, but you can fly out. Well, the owls can fly in but if you're bigger then that you have to use the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron or Apparate inside. So getting out won't be such a big problem," Hermione said, writing everything down on a peace of parchment. Harry nodded his head in understanding.
"And then I hide her with my family," Harry said aloud. Hermione's head snapped up, and she bit her lower lip in concern.
"Harry, I think we should take her to Dumbledore," Harry's eyes hardened.
"No. I will not take her to that old, peace of shit. She's hiding with my family, and that's final," He said with authority. Hermione looked like she wanted to protest, but didn't.
The twins came into the room, jumping up on the bed again. "Right, Harry this is what you do. If the goblin is guarding the door, throw this at him," George said, holding up a little dark blue ball.
"What is it? And won't he see where the ball is coming from?" Harry asked, picking up the little blue ball. It wasn't bigger then an eye, but it was surprisingly heavy to be so little.
"We've designed it so that it's invisible when it's in motion, so the goblin won't see it. Don't worry about what it'll do, but trust us, it will make him go inside, which means he'll open the doors," Fred said with a smirk.
"Right, next, when you're down beside all the other vaults, put this on the ground and step on it," George said, pulling out a black cigarette.
"And what happens then?" Harry asked unsure.
"Well, on the down side, it will alert all the goblins about someone being there, but it will get all their attention away from you. Just make sure to tell it to run away from you, and not after," George said mysteriously. Harry nodded, wondering briefly if he was doing the right thing by letting the twins come along.
"Oh, and you have to speak clearly, alright?" Fred reminded him. Harry nodded his head, and George took out the next thing. This time, it was a little brown box, with the initials F&G on it in small black letters.
"When you and your lovely lady are inside Gringotts and want the door to open, just put this box on the floor and open the lid, and…it, will take care of the rest. Trust me, no attention will be on you after all of this is done," George said, laying everything out on the bed for him to see. Hermione was writing everything down on the parchment, with detailed instructions of everything he had to do.
"Thanks guys. I hope this will work, and if I get caught I'll take the whole blame, promise," Harry said gratefully.
"And let you get all the fun, no way. If you're caught, we will personally step forward and say that you could never have done this without us. We might be breaking the law-"
"But it's for a good cause, so don't try to get all the credit," Fred finished with a wink. Harry smiled at them and sighed.
"You really mean that? Cause if they ask, I'm not telling on you," Harry said, crossing his arms.
"Then we'll tell on ourselves," George said, crossing his arms as well.
"Guys, I think the plan is done. Harry, you'll be leaving at midnight. Judging by the speed you used today when you tested your wings, I'd say it will take you about three and a half hours flying into London, about an hour breaking in and out of Gringotts if everything goes as planned, and four hours back home again. Its Saturday tomorrow morning, and if someone asks where you went, we can tell them you went jogging or something. I don't think anyone's going to ask where you are, but just in case. It is Saturday after all, so the teachers don't usually care about what we do," Hermione said with a smile.
"How am I getting out of the castle though?" Harry asked them.
The twins took out an old peace of parchment and spread it out on the bed. Fred took out his wand and pointed it at the map, and cleared his throat importantly. "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good," he said clearly, and Harry was amazed to see black lines forming a map. A map of Hogwarts.
"See, that's nearly headless Nick, and there's all the students having dinner," Fred said, pointing it out for Harry to see.
"We can sneak you out of here by showing you where to go, get you away from wandering students, teachers or Head boy and girl," George continued proudly.
"So it tells where everyone is?" Harry asked, amazed.
"Of every day." they finished together.
"And when we're done using it, you just say; Mischief managed," George explained pointing his wand at the map. All the lines disappeared, and it looked like an old peace of spare parchment again.
"You made that?" Harry asked them, exited. Maybe they could make the same over Gringotts.
"Nah, we nicked it from Filch's office, first year. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs made this map. Don't know who the blokes are, but we owe them a lot. Geniuses, all of them," George said. So his dad made the map…along with Lupin, Pettigrew and Black. Harry almost wanted to push it away or throw it out. He didn't want any links with his father. Nevertheless, it would be useful tonight, and he wasn't the one using it.
"Should we meet down in the common room at midnight then?" Hermione asked everyone.
"You don't really need to be there Hermione. We're just showing him the way out and then coming back up," George said. Hermione's eyes hardened and she glared at him.
"I'm coming too," She said stubbornly.
"Someone's coming." Harry said causally, leaning back at his bedpost. Seconds later the door opened and Ron, Seamus and Dean walked in laughing and joking, until they saw Harry and his friends that is.
"What are you doing here?" Ron asked the twins sourly.
"Why Ronnykins, we're so-"
"Thrilled to see you too," Fred finished with fake enthusiasm.
"We're talking to our friend you tosspot," George said, rolling his eyes. Harry hadn't even noticed that his bed was empty of all the distractions and maps.
"I don't think mum would like you hanging out with trash like him," Ron said, staring at Harry with disgust.
"Oi! Don't talk-"
"About him like that. And mum will be proud that we don't act like everyone else," George said angrily, glaring at his younger brother.
"We were even planning on taking Harry home for Christmas break," Fred added, slinging an arm around Hermione's shoulders.
Ron's eyes hardened and he crossed his arms over his lanky chest. "You can only bring one person each, and your bringing little miss know it all," Ron reminded him with a smirk.
"To your information, Ronald, Fred is bringing me, and George is bringing Harry. And I'd rather be a know it all than a stupid little boy like you," Hermione retorted. It was a lousy retort, but it worked wonders on Ron.
"So, who wants to go outside?" Harry asked, clapping his hands together. Everyone jumped at the sudden loud noise, and gave him a puzzled look. "There's no reason to be inside this lovely day," Harry said, jumping off the bed and going over to the door.
"I'm coming with," Hermione said, following him. The twins did as well, and they walked out the door, ignoring Ron and his friends.
"I swear I'm going to beat the snot out of your brother when all of this is over," Harry said, cracking his knuckles threateningly.
"Just don't go too hard on him," Hermione said, but she didn't try to stop him.
Fred and George snorted at the same time. "Please, it wouldn't hurt if someone put Ron in his place. His much too cocky for his own good, and he needs to learn that," Fred said dismissively.
"Yeah, I would have beaten him up myself if it wasn't for mum," George said with a shudder.
"What's wrong with your mum?" Harry asked as they walked out of the common room.
"Nothing's wrong with her, she's just got a temper," Fred said with amusement. They walked in silence for a little while before Harry stopped.
"Hermione, can we try something?" Harry hated himself more then ever for doing this and he could feel all his instincts screaming at him to stop right now. But he knew that if he ever wanted to get out of Gringotts, he needed to know if he was capable of doing everything.
"What?" She asked uncertainly. Harry closed his eyes, took a deep breath and opened them again.
"I want to see if I'm able to have someone on my back while I'm flying," Harry said in a rush. Hermione looked at him worried.
"And your about the same size as the mystery girl," He said with a small smile.
"Are you sure? I mean, I don't want to do something that you're not comfortable with. And shouldn't we do this outside?" she asked in a rush.
Harry smiled and turned around spread his wings out as his answer. "Just jump up, and I'll worry about the rest. Duck your head and hold on tight," Harry said. Hermione laid her hands on his shoulders, making him flinch slightly.
"Its okay, don't worry about it," he said when she took her hands back.
"Be careful Harry. And don't you dare drop her," Fred said, coming up in front of him. Hermione jumped up and Harry held on to both of her knees.
"Of course I won't drop her," Harry said confidently. Fred nodded and stepped away, with George following him. They were all standing on the stairs, so Harry walked over to the railings.
"Harry, what are you doing?" Hermione asked in a fearful voice. She'd figured out what he was about to do, and she tightened her hold around his neck. Harry hauled himself up, so he was standing on the railing, looking down into the dungeons. It was a long way down, but Harry was confident in his flying ability that he could do it.
"MR. POTTER!" He heard McGonagall scream, mixed with Hermione's, just before he let himself fall forwards. Harry flapped his wings so they flew up, past the screaming transfiguration teacher, and all the students, up to the seventh floor and down again. Harry was surprised that he almost couldn't feel her on his back, and he was sure that Hermione weighed more than the winged girl.
"Harry, we should fly down again," Hermione said in a small voice into his shoulder blades.
Harry was also surprised that he didn't mind having her on his back, when he hated physical contact so much normally. "Okay," Harry said, took a loop, making Hermione scream again, and flew down to the teacher and all the students. He landed lightly in the middle of the small mob, where all the students made a wide space around them.
McGonagall stomped forwards angrily, and Hermione slipped down his back, standing on shaky legs. "Mr Potter, Miss Granger! Come to my office at once," she snapped angrily, and walked before them briskly.
"You okay?" Harry asked her. She nodded with a small smile and they started walking after the angry professor.
The walk wasn't long, and as soon as the door was closed behind them, the professor started ranting. "In all my years I've never seen such foolishness in a child! What were you thinking? Throwing yourself over the railing like that? You could of gotten really hurt, both of you!" she ranted. She gestured for them to take a seat, but she remained standing. "What do you have to say for yourself?" She asked both of them sharply.
Hermione was about to say something, but Harry cut her off. "Hermione didn't really want to do it, but I wanted to see if I could carry someone while I was flying. I'm the one to blame professor," He said, cursing himself for his own foolishness. If they'd done that outside on the Quidditch pitch, the teachers would probably ignore it.
"I see. It's very noble of you trying to take the blame Harry, but the facts remain that Hermione here did it anyway. I'm very disappointed in you both," she said sternly.
"Professor, does it say in the rules that it's illegal to jump over the railings, or fly inside?" Harry asked her, making the older women's eyes turn into slits.
"Students are not allowed to fly inside the castle, only on the Quidditch pitch. But I think it's self-explanatory not to jump over the railings from the fifth floor," She said sharply.
Harry tried to hide his smile, so he looked down instead, his shoulders shaking with silent laughter. Hermione kicked his foot under the desk, trying in vain to make him stop. "Harry, this isn't funny!" she hissed angrily at him.
McGonagall chose to ignore his laughter. "I can see where you're going with this Harry. And I see that I can't really punish ether of you. But, I will take 20 points from Gryffindor, for being plain stupid. 10 points to Gryffindor for excellent flying." Harry's head snapped up, staring at the Professor in surprise.
"Wood asked me if you could be on the team," McGonagall said thoughtfully.
"And I thought that you wouldn't be good enough after just one day of flying, but I was wrong," she said with a tight smile.
"Yeah, I was going to talk to you about that, I don't really want to be on the team. I want to catch up with schoolwork instead," Harry lied smoothly. The professor sighed and took a seat.
"Alright, if you're sure. But there will be an open spot on the team, if you change your mind for later," she told him reluctantly. Harry nodded his thanks. "You can leave." She told them, and Harry shot out of his seat.
They walked out in silence, but as soon as they rounded the corner, the twins threw themselves at them. Harry acted on instinct and kicked Fred in the chest away from Hermione while he grabbed George by the shirt and smashed him into the wall.
"Harry, Harry stop!" Hermione yelled, running over to Fred, who was sitting on the floor with one hand on his chest and the other on his head. Harry released George and stepped away from them.
"I'm so sorry you guys, I just thought someone was attacking us and-"George waved off his apologies, rubbing the back of his head where it hit the wall.
"Damn you're strong," Fred said between coughs. Harry walked over and helped him up, ignoring his own urge to run away.
"I'm really sorry." Harry said, letting Fred lean on one of his outstretched wings. "Are you okay?" He asked them. They both nodded and smiled slightly.
"Remind me to never get on your bad side. I feel bad for Ron," Fred said, giving another cough. Harry laughed slightly, and they started walking outside again as they originally planned, all the while talking in codes about what they would be doing that very same night.
So sorry for making you wait, but I ran away from home and I didn't bring my laptop with me, so I haven't had the chance to write anything.
Review, and no flames please!