Hermione hesitantly threw a leg over the borrowed broomstick, casting a weary glance at her friend. Ginny, smiling reassuringly, hopped onto her own. Hermione planted her booted feet firmly on the dusty ground and cast an eye to the cloudy, grey sky.
"Are you sure this is the right weather for this?" She asked nervously. Ginny laughed evilly.
"You are not getting out of this one, Hermione. You are going to fly."
"Alright. Hands firmly on the broom." Ginny instructed, demonstrating. Hermione copied her exactly. Ginny smiled and pushed off the ground, hovering about a foot above the stones. Hermione gulped and did the same, wobbling slightly in the air. Ginny grinned.
"Good. Now you've got to go higher." She insisted, and Hermione groaned.
"Yes, higher." Ginny replied. "I know you have a thing about heights, but we all know you can do it." She smiled. "Me, Mum, Harry, Ron."
At Ron's name, Hermione looked up and gulped, then nodded.
Ginny laughed. "Let's go then!"
She rose a little higher off the ground, her long legs dangling above the high grass scattered in clumps around the backyard of The Burrow. Hermione followed suit, albeit a little wavering. Soon they were gaining speed, rising in the air alongside the rickety house. They were level with Percy's old room on the second floor, when Ron wandered into the kitchen.
He took his place next to Harry at the table and smiled at his best mate. The dark-haired man was levitating a fruit bowl, moving it from the fireplace to the window and back again.
"Nice one." Ron murmured and smiled again. Harry grinned.
"Thanks. You got any food?" He asked bluntly and quickly, and Ron laughed.
"I'm rubbing off on you, mate." He chuckled. "But, yeah, I think so... Hang on." He bounced over to the kitchen cupboards in search of food for he and Harry.
"Do you know where Hermione is?" He called over his shoulder, rifling through a cupboard.
"She's out the back with Ginny. Gin's teaching her how to fly." Harry called back.
"You're kidding?" Ron exclaimed, walking back to the table with a bread roll in each hand, dodging the fruit bowl as he went. "I've told her I'd teach her anytime!"
"Yeah, but she gets more embarrassed around you." Harry explained, taking a roll. "If she cocked up, she'd probably die of embarrassment!"
"But I don't want her to feel embarrassed around me."
"Tell her how you feel then." Harry said, and then looked surprised.
"What?" Ron asked.
"Last time I told you to 'tell her how you feel', was about telling her that you loved her!" He grinned as he spoke, but Ron blushed. He 'mmm'ed and looked at the floor, smiling slightly. Just as the men tucked into their rolls, ripping them apart; a loud scream rang out, tearing right through Ron. A dull thud followed, then the scream of a name,
Before Harry even had time to flinch, Ron had shot out of his chair. He ran through the small kitchen, knocking over various objects as he went. Shooting past the window, be bumped into the levitated fruit bowl, sending it into and out of the framed glass panels. Harry yelled after Ron as shimmers of glass flew everywhere. Something about the fact that Mrs Weasley was going to kill him. But Ron didn't care. He had heard Hermione scream, and it had brought back painful memories. He slammed open the back door, the wood crashing into a near brick wall. In front of the shed, he spotted Ginny, abandoning the broom and kneeling in a patch of grass. Ron plummeted forwards and skidding to a stop opposite his sister.
Hermione was laid on the ground, leaning on one elbow with her knees stretched out. She was rubbing her forehead with her right hand, and Ron noticed a deep gash both on her left eyebrow and her bottom lip.
"Merlin! Are you alright? Tell me you're okay?" He asked all this rather fast and Hermione frowned as she tried to keep up with him. He babbled frantically for a bit more, until Ginny punched him in the head.
"Ron! Shut up! Merlin's sake! It was just a bump, right, Hermione?"
Hermione nodded in response. Ron hadn't noticed Harry had arrived until he put a hand on Ginny's shoulder.
"How far did she fall?" He asked.
"From about the second floor." Ginny answered. "Percy's old room."
Ron had sat Hermione up straight and was checking her for other injuries.
"Ronald, I'm okay!" She insisted, but he continued surveying her, fussing over every inch.
"Are you sure it doesn't hurt?"
Ron sighed and sat back in the dirt. He twisted his fingers into Hermione's and smiled at her in relief. She smiled back and dabbed at her lip.
"We better get you inside." Ginny said.
"Get you cleaned up." Harry added.
Hermione nodded and allowed the three of them to help her to her feet.
In the kitchen, Mrs Weasley was busying about with her wand, reparing the broken window and cleaning the bread crumbs, replacing the discarded chairs.
"What on earth is going on?" She thundered, looking livid. Ginny sighed and leant on Harry as she pulled off her boots, then the both sat down. Ron and Hermione, hand in hand, stammered.
"I... erm, fell off my broom." Hermione said quietly, blushing. Mrs Weasley's expression softened immediately and she squeezed Hermione's arm.
"Oh, honey! Are you alright?" She fussed, touching the younger woman's bleeding lip affectionately. Hermione almost rolled her eyes. She could see when Ron had inherited his worrying gene from. That, or it was an incredibly intense caring gene.
She was sat down at the table, directly opposite Harry, and before she knew it, Mrs Weasley was waving her wand over Hermione's face, clearing her of blemishes. When she was spotless, apart from a small scraped on her left temple, Ron grabbed her hand and pulled her up three flights of stairs to his attic room.
"Careful!" She half-squealed, half-laughed. He practically jumped onto his low, orange bed, pulling Hermione down with him.
"Are you sure you're alright?" He asked again, a little out of breath.
"I'm fine, Ron." Hermione smiled, just as puffy. "I swear, it was just a bump on the head."
He nodded and kissed her on the end of her nose.
"Just a bump on the head." He repeated in a whisper. Before Hermione could return the kiss, a loud, woman's voice yelled up,
"And, Ronald Weasley, you are fixing that window! Without magic!"
Ron groaned and fell of the bed.