Author's Note: Last chapter! My first ever complete multiple chapter story! Yay!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Chapter 5: Forever Your Passenger
A half hour before their scheduled takeoff, Hermione sent a note to Fred trying not to sound too desperate.
My Favorite Pilot,
I just thought I'd mention that Harry and Ron saw us flying yesterday. Ginny has also heard about this. Now they'd like to go flying with me. We takeoff at 3 pm.
Forever your passenger,
Ginny waited in the house as Hermione walked over to the boys. Seeing their excitement only caused her feet to drag more. Already she was thinking, "Merlin save me."
When she finally reached them, both boys were sitting on their brooms. She looked back and forth between them, wondering how her life had come to this. Was she so unwilling to admit her crush that she would get on a broom with them?
"We decided that you should ride with me since Harry's broom is so much faster."
Ron moved back a bit so she could climb on in front of him. Yes, it appeared that's exactly how unwilling she could be. But at least she wasn't forced to think of an excuse to ride with Ron.
She fixed her death grip on the broomstick and Ron placed an arm lightly around her. She forced herself to lean back into him in her search for safety. They began to raise into the air with Harry along side them.
By Hermione's estimate, they were soon over twenty feet in the air and quite high on her Fear Scale when the silence was broken.
"What's wrong, Hermione?" Harry asked. "Nothing bad is going to happen to you."
"Yeah, you're perfectly safe," Ron added. "We won't let you fall."
But so afraid was she that speech had left her. She squeezed her eyes shut.
Hermione was here with Ron, in the same position as she took with Fred. Ron had said about the same things to her as Fred normally did. And yet, she still didn't feel safe with Ron; she simply was not comforted by him.
Through the fear which was quickly overwhelming her, Hermione realized that her crush on Ron was completely gone and her feelings for Fred were beyond true.
"'Mione, are you okay?!?" Fred's far-off voice broke through Hermione's thick thoughts.
"Loads of canaries, Fred! Loads and loads of them!" Her eyes still tightly shut, lest she see the ground.
"So I take it that we are past a ten on the scale?" His voice was closing in on her.
"Far past, Fred!"
"Why are you going on about canaries?" Ron asked.
Fred answered when he reached the group. "It's the code word for 'Get Me Down NOW!'" Hermione nodded her head vigorously in agreement.
"'Mione," Fred said gently. "Look at me." She opened her eyes to find Fred's blue eyes in front of her. "You Are Safe." He paused before asking, "Do you believe me?"
"Yes," was her quiet response, never leaving his eyes.
Fred's eyes, however, began to travel. He looked at Hermione's tight grip on the broom handle, at her position in front of Ron, and finally at Ron's arm around her waist. His eyes rested on the last place until he spoke again.
"What did you gits do to her?"
"We just wanted to try taking her on a flight, seeing as how we've been trying to get her on a broom since first year," defended Ron.
Harry, as always, remained calmer. "We were taking her for a short ride. Nothing we thought was too high or fast."
"We definitely weren't flying as high or fast as you two were yesterday!" interrupted Ron.
"Did you tell her that she was safe?" Fred demanded.
"Of course we did," said Ron.
"Did you tell her that you wouldn't let her fall?"
"Yes," Harry quickly answered.
"I don't know why she's so worked up anyway." Hermione tore her eyes away from Fred for the first time to glare at Ron, who had the decency to look a bit scared. If Hermione hadn't been so terrified she would have hit him.
"She's afraid of heights, you git! Now, get her to the ground, slowly."
On the gentle ride back down, Hermione focused on Fred. His protectiveness surprised her, and thrilled her.
Once on the ground, she surged into his open arms. The only thought in her mind was feeling safe again, and the part of her she had been trying to deny for months now knew that the safest place was tucked into Fred's arms. Fred laid his head on top of hers and squeezed her tight, but didn't say a word; he didn't need to.
Ron and Harry stood watching this scene with their mouths open. This lasted until Ron couldn't hold the question in any longer. "How come you can fly with him?"
Hermione pulled her head away from Fred's warmth to look at him. Although the words had been said by Ron she could see the question echoed in Fred's eyes. "With Fred I feel safe. I'm just not scared anymore."
Harry just shook his head and started dragging a still confused Ron to the house. "Let's go inside. Some hot chocolate will calm your nerves, Hermione."
"What will calm her nerves is a short flight, right 'Mione?"
Hermione picked up Fred's broom. "We'll be in soon."
She took her normal seat in front of Fred and placed his arm around her. Once she was settled back against him, Fred took off.
After they had flown for a few minutes, he posed his questions, "So you can't fly alone or with anyone else but me.
"Because you only feel safe with me?"
"Just to clarify, you do not feel safe on a broom with Ron?"
"Correct." She sighed against him.
"Anything else I should know?"
"You smell wonderful." Hermione said this without thinking, and yet didn't regret the answer.
She turned slightly to see that his smile was even larger than yesterday's. This brave new development gave her the boost she needed. "Anything I should know?"
"Well, let's see." He slowed the broom to a glide. "I've never ridden a broom with another girl, besides my sister. And I never want to." The broom stopped. "And your hair smells like strawberries."
Hermione took control of the broom and lowered them to only a few feet above the ground. She turned to sit sideways on the broom.
"And you like strawberries?" She slid her arms around his neck. His arms curled around her back.
"Very much so."
She smiled and leaned in for a soft first kiss with the only man who could quell her fears.
From the Burrow's back window, not too far away, Ginny said to the room, "Pay up."
Ron, Harry, George, and Mr. Weasley all handed her a galleon. Harry asked, "How did you know yesterday that they'd get together and that it would be today?"
Ginny just winked at Harry and played with her new galleons.
Author's Note: Thanks to all of my readers and reviewers- you guys are great and always brighten my day! And a big thanks to my supportive friends and family who read the stories even if they aren't into Harry Potter and/or Hermione/Fred.