When Portkeys Go Wrong: Chapter 3; Up, up, and Away

-POV: 3rd limited, Harry

Harry watched as the arrow-headed boy left to help his girlfriend. Or maybe his girl friend. He still couldn't tell if they were together. Maybe the relationship was a work in progress. The boy seemed more eager to help her than he would a normal friend, and the girl had reached out to him before when the scar-faced teen had tried to take him away; yet they didn't act exactly like a pair of lovebirds.

"Shouldn't we help them?" Ginny punctured his thoughts with the voice of reason. "We did tell them we'd help, and we kind of owe them for letting us come…"

"Oh, yeah, probably," Harry mustered, still staring at Aang and Katara. He kept wondering about their relationship. Then he wondered about a possible relationship between him and—

"Well I don't know about you lot, but I'm going over there to help…and see if they have food. I just realized I haven't eaten in a long time," Ron stated before walking over to help.

"The stomach is right," George said, as he and Fred followed. Harry cleared his head and trailed behind them. Just as the group made their way over to Aang and his friends, the older boy, Sokka, stumbled out of an igloo with two backpacks bulging with food and weapons.

"Can you guys load this on Appa?" he grunted.

"Appa?" Harry wondered aloud.

"My flying bison!" Aang cheerily told him. "Come on, I'll show you." He took one of Sokka's backpacks and gave the other to Harry. Beckoning forward, he led Harry and his friends behind a snow dune.

"Bloody…" Ron didn't even finish the phrase. In front of the group stood a gigantic, six-legged, furry creature. Although very reminiscent of a bison, the creature featured arrows, not unlike Aang's down its back and had a large flat tail. It grunted. Seeing the somewhat astonished looks on Harry and the Weasleys' faces, Aang reassured them.

"Don't worry, Appa doesn't bite. Just go up and pet him. Or sit on him."

Fred and George exchanged a look and stared at Harry expectantly.

"You can go first," Fred said.

"After all, you do have the bag." George added.

"I thought you two were Gryffindors." Ginny reprimanded. She walked up to Appa and began to pet him. "He's harmless. And adorable." Seeing Ginny safe, the rest of the group stepped up to greet the gentle giant. Harry handed the backpack to Aang, who put it on Appa's saddle.

"Looks like we're all packed," Katara told the group as she heaved one last bundle onto Appa. "Now we just have to get to the North Pole."

"Actually…" Aang started, "if you don't mind, I'd like to stop at a few places first. Is that alright with everyone?"

Harry and his friends shrugged. He didn't really care where they went, as long as they didn't stop thinking of ways to get home. Katara and Sokka, on the other hand, needed more information.

"Stop where?" Sokka inquired. "Because realistically, we can't just go flouncing anywhere. We have a mission to complete!"

Mission? Harry wondered what that could be. Actually, Harry was wondering about a lot of things in this world. Where exactly were they? Why were these people neither wizards, nor muggles? Who was Scarface and what did he want with a kid like Aang? He decided if he was to stay here, he should probably figure these things out.

"Wait a minute." The group turned to look at Harry. "What exactly is this mission?"

"Yeah," Ron agreed, "Is it dangerous?"

"Well…" Katara trailed off at Ron's question.

"Because if it's dangerous, ickle Ronnykins won't go," Fred joked.

"He doesn't want to risk his pretty little neck," George mocked.

"Shut up!" Ron's ears turned red as Fred, George, and Ginny laughed.

Through the jesting, Harry noticed Katara, Sokka, and Aang exchanging looks. He couldn't tell if the looks had been exchanged because of the jokes or the potential danger.

"Well, it is a bit perilous," Sokka said, "So if you want out, now's your only chance. We don't know whether foreigners like you can handle this stuff. It takes a good warrior to tough it out. I don't know if your fancy little 'magic' can stand up to the stuff we're up against."

"What Sokka means," his sister explained, "is that we wouldn't want to put you in a situation you wouldn't want to be in. There could be a lot of fighting involved, so you need to be prepared for the worst. We might get injured, or something…"

Harry thought he knew what "or something" meant. What could Aang and his friends possibly be doing that was so dangerous? As far as Harry could tell, Voldemort didn't exist here.

"We've handled danger before. Still, what exactly are you—we— doing?" he asked.

"We're going to the north pole so that Aang and I can learn waterbending. Then Aang will need to learn earth and firebending so he can defeat the firelord. He's the avatar, so he's the only one with a chance"

"Firelord? Waterbending?" Harry wondered.

"Avatar?" Ron inquired at the same time.

"There are four elements—water, earth, fire, and air," Aang explained, "and certain people can bend, or manipulated them. I happen to be an airbender." He created a mini tornado in his hand.

"But he's also the avatar," continued Sokka, "which means he can bend all four elements."

"Sounds neat," Ginny commented, "But who's the firelord?"

"Firelord Ozai," Sokka informed, "Is a cruel firebending 'Lord' who's trying to take over the world. He's already wiped out the entirety of the Air Nomads. Aang is the only one left."

"You don't know that for sure," Aang told Sokka, "the air temples can only be reached by sky bison. Besides, even if there was an attack, how do you know they haven't gone into hiding?"

Harry thought this 'firelord' sounded kind of like Voldemort. He didn't say anything about it though, because he didn't feel like explaining his whole story to Aang and his friends.

"So, can we take some detours?" Aang asked, bringing up his original point.

"I dunno Aang, maybe after—" Sokka was cut off.

"Sure Aang, where would you like to go?" Katara replied.

"Well," Aang said, pulling out a map, "First we need to stop here to ride the hopping llamas. Then we go all the way over here so we can surf on the backs of the elephant koi. And then, we need to go here to ride some hog monkeys. They don't like when people ride them, but that's what makes it fun!" He smiled hopefully at Sokka as he pointed out all the places on the map.

"Well, as long as it's not too distracting…" Sokka muttered. Aang cheered.

"C'mon you guys! We've got some hopping llamas to ride!" he airbended himself onto Appa and looked at everyone expectantly.

Harry mounted his broom as the Weasleys mounted theirs. Katara and Sokka climbed up onto Appa, who grunted softly. Harry watched as Aang excitedly took ahold of Appa's reins.

"You can do it, Appa," Aang whispered so quietly that Harry could barely hear. Then more loudly, he called, "Appa, yip yip!"

Five brooms and a flying bison rose in the air. They took off and flew forward, up, up, and away.