Chapter 4: Jet Planes, Oz, and Honest Talk A Brave New World Chapter 4
A Brave New World Chapter 4
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the situations I create the rest is all JKR's.
A/N: This chapter has received new content and been edited for plot.
Chapter 4: Jet Planes, Oz, and Honest Talk Part 1: Heathrow and Weasley Letters
Part 1: Heathrow and Weasley Letters
When Harry woke the following morning he found himself in the reverse of the morning before. 'It's not bad,' He thought to himself. The morning before she had held him strongly, but on this day his right arm held a loose grip on her hip as she is cuddled into him with her head rested just below his collarbone. Her hair was everywhere and he had to stop himself from laughing when he realized that the wet feeling over his heart was actually from a small amount of drool that had found its way out of her mouth.
As he titled his head to get a better look at her features he gave her a little shake with his slightly numb arm. He had to give a chuckle when all she did in return was attempt to burrow deeper into his chest.
"Hermione it's time we get up, the sun has already beaten us this morning." He whispered to her.
"Quiet. Parrots are in the library; we're not supposed to talk," was the mumbled response she gave.
The rumble of laughter and shaking of nice warm pillow was what pulled Hermione from her very comfortable sleep. After she was able to get the sleep from her eyes she lifted herself up to find Harry with the widest smile that had graced his face in a long time. She also noticed what seemed to be a wet spot on his shirt where she knew her head had just been, and realized quickly what she had done.
"Oh Harry, I'm sorry…I've…I've drooled on you…Morgana!," She said with an embarrassed grimace. As she moved to get off the bed Harry gripped her shoulders and pulled her back down to his side.
"Don't worry Hermione." He said still lightly chuckling and gave her an mischievous smile. "What were you dreaming about before I woke you up?"
"I don't remember…why?" She replied with a suspicious gleam in her eyes.
"No reason…just wondering." Harry said with no small amount of mirth.
"Okay well we need pack and shower." She said looking over at the ornate clock that sat of the table next to the side of the bed. "It's nearly six; Kingsley and Auror Robards will be here in an hour. You shower first."
As she slipped out of the bed and the walked to the door Harry watched her. With his glance he couldn't help but notice how graceful her movements were when not being hindered by an overladen bag of tomes or running for her life. His gaze on its own accord slipped to down her frame and settled on her pajama-covered rear. He took no notice of his eyes former placement as his body moved on its own to the bathroom.
It was a total of five minutes into his shower as he was preparing to reach for the shampoo that the thought struck him. 'I just ogled Hermione's bum!'
Obviously the young man had noticed that Hermione had become quite fit over the years. But never had he actually engaged in anything other than the objective glance to gain appreciation that she was, in fact, an attractive and desirable young woman.
'This was ogling though! I stared and…oh shit!' A voice inside him said.
"No…no its okay." He said aloud to calm that voice inside himself. "Logic. Use logic," He continued, "Hermione is my best friend. Hermione is a young woman, a beautiful one. My best friend is a beautiful young woman. I am a young man, and it would be odd if I didn't appreciate that she is…fit." He repeated this as he lathered in the shampoo that she had given him in their first week here. "It's perfectly normal…at least I didn't wake up with a pup tent." He grumbled to himself with a silent 'thank you' as he imagined the worst of that situation.
"Harry, are you okay in there. Who are you talking to?" Hermione's voice rang out from the hallway.
"What…Oh…Yeah Hermione just going over things we need to today." Harry said with a little crack to his voice. "I'll just rinse my hair and I'll be right out."
He was out of the shower less than a minute later and passing by Hermione with towel wrapped around his waist and another being used as a cover, drying his hair the excuse, to hide his slightly red race. "All yours," He said rushing to his room.
"Well…Okay then." Was all Hermione could reply to the blur of her best friend.
It was a little over fifty minutes later when Kingsley and Head Auror Robards came out of the Floo to find a slightly misty-eyed Fleur Delacour and Hermione Granger in a tight hug with Crookshanks weaving in between their feet. Bill and Harry were stood next to the couch with identical looks of mirth at the somewhat quizzical expressions on the Aurors' faces.
"Well…all ready then?" the deep baritone of Kingsley rang out.
"Yes," Bill said "I'm on my way out right now. Need to stop off at the Burrow before heading over to Gringotts." He finished with patting his pocket that held the letters to his family. He gave a brotherly hug to Harry and Hermione before kissing his wife and nodding to the two men before heading through the Floo.
"Right" Robards said as he pulled out two long strips of paper from his robes. "These are going on your luggage. They'll mark your things as diplomatic and you won't have to deal anybody rooting around in them along the way. We'll be apparating into a nook of Heathrow reserved for the transportation of ministry officials. Once we get there I'll take your luggage straight to baggage transfer for you, don't worry all luggage marked with diplomatic seals are handled first and given priority." He paused to make sure they both understood what he was saying before continuing. "Now are you taking anything on the plane with you?" He asked and after seeing Harry point to the two plain messenger bags lying on the couch he continued. "I suggest you stow your wands in those before getting on the flight and make sure you do not use any, and I mean any magic once inside the aircraft."
"Gawain they know." Kingsley said to his friend. "Okay, now you know that your flight has to refuel in Singapore and then it is a straight shot from there. Auror Taggert and his team will meet you with your luggage at the arrivals gate and escort to either one of the inns on Warratah Street, their equivalent of Diagon Alley or to one of the muggle hotels. Since it will be early morning when you get there we figured you would want a day or so to adjust and plan. When you meet Taggart, he will give you a question about my well-being as a security measure and you should reply 'better than you, you old 'Roo.' He'll probably get a little laugh from that." He finished with a smile.
"Thank you Kingsley." Harry said for both of them.
In the whirlwind that followed both Harry and Hermione had received Fleur's hugs that Molly would have been proud of, all the while sniffling slightly. They had already said goodbye to both Kingsley, who had pulled Harry to the side and questioned him about something, and Robards and had been seated in the first class section of the flight. Over the intervening thirty minutes Hermione dealt with a very excited Harry leaning over her to get a view out of the window before takeoff.
In the moments before Harry and Hermione left the ground in the airplane Molly Weasley had finally been about to pull her children out of bed to look at the letters that had been sent by Hermione and Harry.
Bill had only spent a few moments in the house before exiting back through the Floo stating he would be late if he stayed any longer. Both Arthur and Percy had been at the table for well over thirty minutes; and already well into their respective breakfasts. Both had said that Kingsley wouldn't be expecting them until later as he was out of the office at the moment, and while both would not explain how they knew the particulars of the letters they both told Molly they wanted to hear what was said. Charlie had given them an odd look before taking his seat and George came out of the Floo a few minutes before Ginny made her way down the stairs.
Ronald was the last one down and had already he had begun grumbling as today his first day off from the shop; as George declared it an off day for the shop.
Molly tore the top of the envelope simply addressed The Weasleys while handing the one for Ronald to him and she began to read aloud.
Molly, Ginny, George, Charlie, We are sorry to be leaving without coming to see all of you, but the both of us feel like it will give us all time to handle the situations we been dealing with much easier.
We are sorry to be leaving without coming to see all of you, but the both of us feel like it will give us all time to handle the situations we been dealing with much easier.
We are going to retrieve my parent, and will be staying in Australia for a few weeks while we sort out everything with my parents.
Please do not be angry at Harry or me. This is something both of us need and we hope that you will send us an owl or two while we are down there. Percy should give you my parents address once we have confirmed that I restored their memories. With our love, Hermione Jean Granger
With our love,
Hermione Jean Granger
Harry James Potter
As she finished Molly had taken a deep breath, Arthur moved to her side and hugged her. The man knew this would not be easy on his wife. She thought of those the two as children, as good a blood, and before the talk between Harry and Ginny and the row of Ron and Hermione had hoped the two might become official members at some point.
"It's okay Molly, Kingsley and Percy set everything up. They're perfectly safe and in the hands of a very qualified Auror from Australia; an old mate of Kingsley's. And even still, it is Harry and Hermione. Between them they'll be fine." He said into her hair.
"I know Arthur." She sniffled. "I just worry."
All of the brothers, excluding Ron, shared a look and understood what the trip really meant and why their brother had not been invited. Bill had kept them informed and knew the truth behind their youngest brother's cock ups. Even George had not known the extent of Ron's failures as a friend to the two.
Ginny gave an inward sigh. 'It had to happen sometime.' She thought to herself. In the part of her mind she wouldn't allow herself, when she had hopes for her and Harry, she understood the most likely outcome the trip would have between the two and allowed a slightly cathartic smile on her face before looking at Ron.
Ron Weasley's face could best be described as the color of one of those muggle fire trucks. He threw the letter that he had been reading since his mother finished hers and began to stomp towards the pond.
Molly's affronted shouts of indignation did not stop him.
Ginny picked up the letter and with her other brothers looking over her shoulder they all began to read the two short missives from his once best friends.
Ronald, We have a lot to talk about if you wish to continue our friendship. Harry and I are leaving to go and get my parents. We should be gone no more than three weeks. We will be stopping by the Burrow when we return if it is agreeable with your family. Best, Hermione Jean Granger
We have a lot to talk about if you wish to continue our friendship. Harry and I are leaving to go and get my parents. We should be gone no more than three weeks. We will be stopping by the Burrow when we return if it is agreeable with your family.
Hermione Jean Granger
Ron, I'm going with Hermione. When we get back you and I have a few things to sort out.
I'm going with Hermione. When we get back you and I have a few things to sort out.
You will apologize to her. Harry
As they all finished reading the missives Ginny set the letter on the table and walked with a cold set to her shoulders. While her brothers took in their little sister following the trail their youngest brother had blazed moments before they felt a bit of sympathy for the boy, but none of them would dare stop Ginny when she was on the warpath.
Ginny found him putting too much force behind a stone to be rightly trying to skip it. They stood not too far away from Fred.
"It's your own fault you know." She said with a slight frost to her voice.
"Not now Gin. Keep your opinions to yourself and leave me alone." Ron said as he sent another stone crashing into the murky water.
"It's not an opinion brother it's fact. You are always the one to cause the problems between you three. And looking back on it I don't know how they put up with your childish,…" She took a step closer.
"Ginny," Ron attempted to warn.
"Petty," She continued as she to another step.
"I'm serio…" He stopped trying to interject when he finally turned around and saw the look on her face.
"Jealous tendencies. Really Ron you need to get over all of these insecurities, because if you don't you will lose them." Ginny put her hands in the pockets of her denims as she shook her head, "I've never seen Harry have that look in his eye before…the day they left the Burrow…he was disgusted with you. And to be honest Ron you never had a chance with Hermione. If Harry isn't there you two don't even talk really." She began to head back to the house, but stopped and turned back to him. "You need to get it through that head of yours that Harry didn't want any of the things that have come his way, all the things you envy, except one. And Hermione isn't just what you think she is…there is a lot more to her. Things Harry sees."
"What…was the one thing Harry wanted?" Ron asked with confused look.
"If you don't know that you really are thick, and you don't know him nearly as we all thought you did." With that said she turned and left her brother in the care of Fred and hoped that somehow even in the next adventure he could find a way to prank some since into the git.
Chapter 4: Jet Planes, Oz, and Honest Talk Part 2: Long Flight, Long Talks
Part 2: Long Flight, Long Talks
An hour and a half into the long flight Harry had finally grown tired of looking out the window, much to the pleasure of Hermione who had not been able to get any decent revising into the reversal method of the memory charm from the book Professor Flitwick had lent her.
Hermione had to laugh when thirty minutes prior the overly flirty stewardess had asked if Harry had wanted to see the cockpit (something usually reserved for children). Harry had not even noticed that the woman had been very obvious in her preferential treatment of Harry much to the displeasure of the man in front of them who had already asked twice for another scotch.
Harry had come back with a set of wings and a smile as he regaled Hermione about how Mr. Weasley would have gone crazy in the tiny room with more buttons and nobs than he had ever seen, all the while he had leant over her to look at the clouds. Much to Hermione's amazement she took pleasure in the fact that when Harry had leant over her he had placed his hand on her jean-covered knee leaving the stewardess to sniff and move to the coach section.
"Hey Hermione…" Harry said getting her attention. "What do you want to do after Hogwarts?"
"What?" Hermione asked thrown by the sudden question. "Well I'm not sure. Originally I had planned on possibly working as a solicitor or with the ministry. Maybe in the Department of Law trying to establish at least some rights for other magical beings and stronger rights for non-magical people." Hermione gave a sideways glance and saw the oddly serene look on Harry's face. "Why Harry?"
"I figured you'd say that. But why do you say originally?" He asked.
"Well, I'm not sure if working for the ministry is the best route. The bureaucracy of the ministry doesn't give me much hope in being able to reform laws at the moment, but at the same time I'm also not sure given the way the Wizarding world is going that I'll be needed on that front. The goblins are in much better a standing now and only looking to be building in-roads for better relations, the house elves were on the headlines of the prophet after the battle, and the Centaurs are in negotiations to expand their territory in return for hunting some of the darker creatures left after the battle. Everything is looking to be bursting with potential on that front so I may not pursue that career option. Maybe spell creation or become a potions mistress. I'm not sure. And don't deflect I asked why you wanted to know." She said with a huff.
"Fine, fine." He said chuckling. "I'm not sure about after Hogwarts. I…" He looked down before continuing. "I never planned for the future. Only that I would want to be an Auror, and now I've got the opportunity to be one if I really wanted to. That's what Kingsley was talking to me about at Heathrow. He offered me a place at the academy. No NEWTS necessary and a guaranteed opportunity to see if I am Auror material."
After getting past the look of sympathy about him not planning a future she smiled. "Harry…that's wonderful. Are you going to take him up on the offer?" She asked while taking his hand.
"No." Harry said as he turned to her. "I'm not." He said simply as he looked her in the eyes.
"Because I'm done…" He let out a long expelling sigh, "I'm done fighting. My part is over." He continued with a sad smile. "I'm tired of having to survive; I'm ready to start living my life. And on my own terms."
Hermione was struck by the words. Harry. Her Harry was opening up in a way that he had never done for any of them. She simply hugged her best friend for all he was worth and allowed a few tears to slip out.
"Okay, Harry well then what will you do?" She asked after composing herself.
"Well…" He began with a smirk. "I don't really have to do anything. Don't forget I just happen to be a very wealthy man."
"Oh don't even think about that Harry. You need something constructive…" Hermione began to lecture.
"I know Hermione, I know. Just joking. To be honest I'm not sure." He began to get a little quiet before continuing. "I've been talking a lot with Bill. And he was telling all that being a curse breaker entails." He left the statement hanging.
"Oh…well that's different Harry. Though you do know that being a curse breaker means you'll have to have high NEWTS and in subjects you haven't actually taken before…Oh!" She exclaimed. "That was what you were asking McGonagall about isn't it."
"Yeah I know I'll need Ancient Runes and Arithmancy for sure and I'll have to pull up my history marks, but I think I'd like to look at it as a possibility. Maybe study up and take my OWL for History again, and then for Arithmancy and Ancient Runes this year…then work on the NEWTS over the summer." He said smiling at her thinly veiled attempt to remain calm. Her face looked about to crack from the smile she was giving him. "And I was hoping you could be the one to catch me up on the materials for all of them."
If it weren't for the limitations on physicality of being inside a cramped space, Hermione could have jumped up and down. She settled for a near vibrating state of excitement as she pulled Harry to her.
"Yes of course Harry, Oh! We'll need to start right away. At least two hours of introductory reading as soon as we get things squared. You'll need all of the revision you can take on history and we'll need to see about getting you a rune etching kit along with the proper formula and theory charts, and…" She began to have an all to familiar wild gleam to her eyes.
"Hermione." Harry said regaining her attention. "We have time, and it would help if we landed first." His grin was wide as well.
"Oh yes I know Harry…It's just…I'm so proud of you." She said.
"Thank you Hermione." He said with his eyes shining. "Not many people have told me that."
With a smile Hermione took his hand and leant her head against his shoulder. They stayed like that for most of the flight. The other passengers in first class could be heard whispering about the adorable young couple that spent the better part of the flight leaning into each other long past the refueling stop and eventual set down in Brisbane (even the ornery man who had to wait far too long for his scotch).
Chapter 4 Jet Planes, Oz, and Honest Talk Part 3: Magical Oz, A Late Dinner…or Early Breakfast, and Tears
Part 3: Magical Oz, A Late Dinner…or Early Breakfast, and Tears
The one part of the flight that Harry did not like was the actual descent for landing. Hermione had spent the entirety of the experience trying not to laugh at the near-hyperventilating state of her best friend. It hadn't been bad until he had asked for a quick peek out the window into the Australian night with only the lights of Brisbane as their guide. He made quite the sight. Breathing hard, gripping her hand in his, his other hand nearly bending the metal of his armrest, and doing his best not to look out the window next to her.
"Honestly Harry!," she exclaimed and then whispered, "You have no problem doing the Wonky Fake and all those other idiotic maneuvers on a broom, but this bothers you?"
"It's a Wronski Feint, and I have control then." Was all he replied keeping his eyes firmly shut as he tried to slow his breathing down.
"Of course that's what it is." She huffed back. "It'll be over in just a second. Try to relax."
Harry did relax once he knew they were firmly on the ground and taxiing their way to the terminal.
As they made their exit off the plane and into the small crowd at the arrivals gate a tall, lithe man with a wide-brimmed outback hat made a bee-line towards them.
"G'day you two. Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger right?" He asked with a thick accent and wide smile breaking out across his heavily tanned face. As he flipped over the small wallet he had in his hand, showing them an Austrailian Ministry seal and Auror embossment, he said, "Paul Taggart, Senior Auror, from the Australian Ministry. How's old Shacklebolt doing? I'm sure he sent you off well enough."
"He said to tell you 'Better than you…you old 'Roo.'" Harry replied with a grimace.
"Haha. Cheeky bugger he is." The man said tilting the brim of his hat back a little. "Well very nice ta meet the two of you. My team will meet us at the apparition point just around the corner. I figured we could apparate to the side street off Warratah, that way if you wanted to stay at one of the muggle hotels they're right there."
"Nice to meet you as well sir." Hermione said with a slightly bemused look on her face. "Perhaps you could recommend a good hotel for us."
"Well…if you wanted to go muggle, but still be close, the Emporium Hotel is right next to Warratah Street. It's a bit pricey though." The man said
"Money won't be a problem." Harry interjected then with a slightly sheepish look asked, "Do you know if they still serve food this late?"
"Ha of course mate! I've had to use the hotel surveillance on people going into Warratah before. Their kitchen is always open. Best room service on either side of the Warratah entrance in my opinion."
"Excellent we'll go there." Hermione said with a smile.
Taggart then ushered them over to a small area where three other men were waiting with their luggage. With a quick nod to his team he offered his arm to Hermione and motioned for Harry to take one of the others before they left with a series of pops.
They arrived in a back alley that led to one of the nicest hotels on the non-magical side of Brisbane. The Aurors helped the two young people into the hotel and watched as they checked into their room. Not one of the Aurors so much as raised an eyebrow on the guffaw Harry let out when the receptionist commented on what a lovely couple they were, nor did they chuckle (well maybe a little) when the receptionist explained that they only had one-bed rooms available. The two teens though took it in stride and were led to their room by the concierge after being told that it would be best if they got themselves acclimated before going to see Hermione's parents by Taggart.
It was an hour later that Harry and Hermione were freshly ensconced in their sleepwear and relaxing in front of a very large TV enjoying the full stomachs from their delicious late dinner(or early breakfast).
"I've a few doses of sleeping draught to get us on schedule here." Hermione said pointing to her luggage. "I also packed a few dreamless-sleeps if we need it." She added with a grim smile.
"Well, I haven't had any need for one the past few nights." Harry said. "Have you?"
"No." She said, "I know I've had a few memories…bad dreams, but none like before."
"Same here." He smiled.
As they sat and watched the screen Hermione's hand moved to her arm and began to rub the fabric over the skin with the scar. Harry had noticed her doing that on the plane as well. In truth that was the worst of both of their nightmares. Both would wonder what would have happened if they had not gotten to her in time; if Dobby had not played the grand savior and martyr. The scenarios played out in their dreams more often than either would care to admit.
Harry reached out and placed his on top of hers stopping the motion. The words on his own skin being emphasized from the light of the TV.
"What is it Hermione?" He asked turning his head towards her.
"I'm nervous…they're going to be mad at me Harry." She said turning towards him. "Very mad."
"Maybe." He said. "But I think it will be more important that they have you safe and sound to be mad at, and that should mean more to them for the time being." He paused and looked at her before continuing. "How much do they really know Hermione?"
When she turned to look away and barely whispered the word "enough" Harry could only grimace.
"Well that should be the first thing we talk about with them. They need to know all of it then." He said.
"Still going on with that "we" thing are you?" She asked with a laugh as the first few tears began to fall. "After everything that's already happened I don't know how they will handle this."
"Well, I'm here. If you need help just ask and we can figure out everything. What exactly did you do to them? He asked as she sniffled into one of the napkins and moved further into his side.
"Mum was making snacks for tea, and Daddy was in the den watching something on the telly. I found the charm to cordon of certain sections of memory from a book I had borrowed from Professor Flitwick. As soon as Mum called me down and I saw her and Daddy in their chairs I cast the charm." She said as she laid her head on his shoulder. "They were never particularly happy after our second year, but only after McGonagall spoke with them did they agree to allow me to stay in the wizarding world."
After she said this Harry began to let the idea sink into his head and became more incensed at the way things had been handled for her at school. For him he understood the treatment he had received to an extent. The Dursley's had not cared what happened to him, and after Sirius passed the only person who could legally speak for him in the magical world was Dumbledore. But Hermione had two parents, who by all accounts were very loving and caring, and they were left in the dark about their daughter's well-being for ten months of the year. True, Hermione played her part in that, but on the grander scale the adults and authority figures that looked after her in the magical world did not have the courtesy to inform them of Hermione's health. Only McGonagall had apparently fallen outside of this category.
"Harry…what's the matter?" She asked with wet inquisitive eyes.
"Nothing that is important at this moment." He said schooling his features. "We should go ahead and take the sleeping draught. Enough to get us set on schedule and then we can go get your parents."
"Okay Harry." She said standing up, grabbing the vials out of her bag, and moving to the bed. "And Harry?"
"Do you mind if we sleep like before we left England?" She asked with a slight blush. "I think it would…help calm me a bit."
"Of course we can Hermione." He said taking the offered potion vial and downing its contents. "Come on. Off to sleep with us."
Hermione curled into Harry's side and he hit the button to close the blinds just as the last of the sun had risen over the horizon.
From the author: To Bexis who pointed out my mistakes, thank you. And on the point of them spending "most" of the flight in the position of leaning on one another, just consider it as a liberty of consolidating description. I didn't see the point of writing such a long exposition of their movement during the flight, so while they did sleep and go to use the restroom for the better part of being awake they took comfort in each other's closeness. ~A Vagrant Boy~
~A Vagrant Boy~