Getting to School a Different Way
A/N: Don't own, don't get any compensation from. Just for fun
Harry couldn't believe what had happened; his supposed best friend had just left him in the middle of London, just because Harry didn't want to take an extremely risky method to Hogwarts. Harry figured that there had to be a safer method to get to Hogwarts, like the floo; no matter how much he didn't like it. Also if any muggle saw Ron flying the car to Hogwarts then not only he, but also the Weasleys and possibly Wizarding Britain as a whole, could be in trouble given what the fall out could be. After "meeting" Voldemort last year, Harry made a promise that he would do his best to have an event free year at Hogswarts.
Unfortunately being "locked" out of the passage to the Hogwarts Express sure put a damper on his resolution, it was hard to have an event free year at Hogswart if in the process of trying to get to the place you're stymied. While Harry figured that while Dobby honestly believed that Hogwarts wasn't safe he felt that he could handle what ever came at him this year as easily as he did last year. That Dobby would be able to do something like this shocked him.
Harry didn't know what he was going to do, he had to get to Hogswarts, the other option was unthinkable. If he arrived back at his relatives house, especially after how he departed it this summer, Uncle Vernon would probably just out and out kill him and take his chances, Aunt Petunia would probably cheer him on too.
"Harry?" A voice brought the pondering wizard out of his funk. Looking up Harry blanched as he saw the parents of his friend and owner of the car that was currently being driven to Hogwarts right now by said friend; Arthur and Molly Weasley.
"Why aren't you on the train, Harry?" Molly questioned, as soon as he was asked, everything came out; how the barrier blocked him and Ron, how the two boys had a fight and Ron decided to fly the car to Hogwarts while Harry decided to stay and wait for someone who could help him get to Hogwarts, how Dobby made a mess for his relatives, and his uncle beat him and locked him up in his room only giving him just enough to live on in daily rations, and that he shared that food with Hedwig to keep his owl from starving.
Upon hearing everything that Harry had been going through over the summer, the Weasley parents had two wildly different reactions to the boy's tale. Arthur was horrified that anyone would treat a child like that and promised himself that he would do something nice for his three youngest boys, including cutting Molly off when she got going about some of their less horrible pranks.
Molly on the other hand was rather glad to hear how awful Harry's home life was as it would make it easier to get him and Ginny together if she could show him how a loving "proper" family treated one another. Molly also felt irritation over the fact that Fred and George were correct in how Harry was being treated, she knew that once they heard that they were correct in their action, and it was just a case of Muggle guardians being nervous about the wizarding world then they would use the fact that they were right about Harry to try to wiggle out of proper punishments over the summer, never caring that their actions could lead to the further shame and degradation of the Weasley family, although really her husband had that handled well enough on his own, toying around with muggle junk. Realizing that this wasn't the best time to think about this as evident by both Harry's and her husband's searching looks towards her, Molly smiled at Harry.
"Well it sounds as though we will just have to find an alternate way to get you to school, Harry." The Weasley matriarch was all smiles while she was writing a howler in her head to Ron, as well as Fred and George for taking the car in the first place and influencing Ron.
While it might seem like the Weasley family was one big happy family, if you look closer you would start to see the cracks. Molly had ensnared Arthur thinking that he had money, as the Weasley family had successfully been keeping the fact that they were poorer and poorer each generation from the outside world. When Arthur had proposed to her after she had tricked him into impregnating her with their first child the fact that the Weasley family had been tricked out of most of their fortune by the Malfoy family years ago came to light, the Weasleys not telling anybody about it due to their shame. Molly nearly killed Arthur in her rage, all the worse due to the fact that as she had tricked him into impregnating her they had to get married, by wizarding law.
If Molly had just kept her mouth shut after her marriage everything would have been alright, but the redhead witch was too ashamed and angry at how she had tricked herself into the poor house to be quiet and blabbed about her lot in life to a couple of "trusted" witches such as Delores Umbridge and Rita Skeeter, two old friends from her days at Hogwarts. What Molly didn't know was the career paths the two women had chosen for themselves that of a ministry flunky and a muckraking reporter.
Then came the day she met Harry Potter, and everything appeared to turn around for her, or so she thought. There was this wide eyed young boy who turned out to be richer than Midas and seemed to be overwhelmed by everything around him. The perfect kind of person to treat as a patsy, she would just show the boy some kindness and he would do anything to repay them, including marrying into the family that treated him so well just so that he could show his thanks by paying them the largest bride price ever to be recorded. Now her youngest son seemed to be in a position to squander all of her dreams.
She couldn't believe that Ronald would do something so stupid, as to take an illegally modified automobile and use it to get to Hogswarts; she wondered what that boy was thinking, sometimes she really did. How were they supposed to entice Harry to enter a relationship with Ginny when various family members where so willing to break the law, and she thought she only had the twins to watch out for. Hearing her husband and Harry further ahead of her, Molly scampered to catch up; what she heard when she got there was quite a surprise.
"Actually Ron and I don't have that much in common really, not that I'm not thankful that he, Fred and George came and rescued me from my relatives, but all Ron seems to care about is food, quidditch and chess, pretty much in that order. While I do enjoy the physicality of quidditch and consider my self a good chess player against anyone save Ron, I don't find either of those things to be the end all be all of life as he does. Ron also seems to think that anyone he didn't get along with was automatically evil and kept away a good number of people that tried to be my friend last year." Harry finished.
Molly went to defend her son and was shushed by her husband, to her great surprise. Arthur had paid a bit more attention around the house this summer to make sure that Ginny's fairly obvious crush didn't embarrass Harry too much while the boy stayed over this summer. What he had seen had given him cause for worry.
Molly had spent most of the time that Harry was in the same room with her talking about how Harry was "just as good as family", not noticing Harry either looking at her strangely or wincing and actually shying away from her when she'd put her hands on him in a comforting way after she said that during the beginning of his stay with them, this lead Arthur to believe that not everything was right at Harry's home. Molly scoffed at that, commenting that Dumbledore would leave the savior of the wizarding world with someone that would do what the twins said they did and the twins had just been trying to get out of punishment, and Harry was too nice to contradict them.
Arthur, while he was talking to Harry had decided to go to Amelia Bones after he got Harry situated and try to preemptively deal with some of the things that had come up today. He didn't have any certainty that he would survive the day with his career intact, but he figured that a preemptive strike might help; in any case it would get him away from his wife's haranguing him about how stupid he was to tinker with muggle junk, which considering that he had taken the day off originally seemed to be what he had been in for.
Realizing that they had walked to the floo section of platform 9¾ Arthur found his musings turning towards how difficult it was for Harry to travel by fireplace, as was evident with how the lad shot out of the Weasley's fireplace on their way back from Diagon Alley. Thinking about it for a minute, Arthur realized that he and Molly had just expected Harry to understand how to get around by floo due to his statue as the Boy-Who-Lived and never really considered what Harry's upbringing did or did not contain. Turning to Harry, Arthur asked the question that seemed somewhat ludicrous to him even with all that he had thought about in the last couple of minutes.
"Harry, has anyone ever shown you how to travel by floo?" Arthur asked his youngest son's friend earnestly while his wife scoffed in the background. Arthur had to admit that if he had given it any thought before today he would have reacted similarly to his wife but things that he had seen had led him to believe that Harry knew virtually none of the things that he needed to know to survive in the wizarding world, never mind the simple things that people expected him to know, such as navigating the floo easily. Arthur's suspicions were surprisingly confirmed when The-boy-who-lived shook his head in the negative to both his and Molly's surprise. Resolving to look into what exactly Harry's home life was, and whether his son's were lying or not later, Arthur decided to explain the other way that wizards get around.
"Well what about apparition, have you experienced side-apparition before?" Arthur inquired. After being explained that apparition was a way to get from one location to the other by means of self-transportation, Harry replied in the positive, explaining that it sounded similar to how he got on the roof of his primary school when his cousin's gang was chasing him.
Arthur was shocked at what he had heard; a boy too young to go to school had completed an un-aimed apparition without spliching or causing some other magical problem for himself. Arthur wonder what the healers at St. Mungos' would think about what Harry just said, given that it was believed that seventeen was the youngest someone could try apparition due to that being the average age that a witch or wizards magical core settles. From what Harry had just told him, Arthur decided that apparition would be the best way to get Harry to Hogswart. After bidding Harry to release Hedwig, assuring the boy that his owl would probably get to Hogswarts roughly an hour after them with no trouble, Arthur turned to his wife.
"Molly, I'm going to apparate Harry to Hogswart now, after that I'll go into work to preemptively try to get ahead of the trouble Ron might get us into for stealing the car and flying it to Hogswart. Assuming everything turns out ok, I'll come home and we'll have a talk about how you're raising our children." Throughout Arthur's statement Molly attempted to open her mouth to protest what her husband was say but Arthur didn't give her a chance.
"Furthermore, whether or not I do or don't have a job you will be pursuing employment for at least the time that the kids are at Hogwarts now that Ginny is at Hogwarts. You will need something to keep you occupied and as you always get after me to take a better paying job you now have no reason not to enter the job force as well. I expect you to find a job before the children return from school, I'm sure there are employers that are willing to employ someone from the fall to the spring and let you have most of summer off. After all, Percy and the twins are all old enough to be able to look after themselves as well as looking after their younger siblings. If you want I'm also willing to talk to Bill and Charlie and see if they can take some time off during the summer to keep an eye on their younger siblings, though I don't see that as necessary." Arthur finished.
Molly was quite annoyed that Arthur was making her get a job, in her opinion a women's place was at home while the husband was the bread winner. Arthur's promise to try to get her eldest boys home more often was quite a tempting offer however, one worth consideration. Neither of them knew that by the Christmas break their roles would be quite different than what they were used to at the Burrow.
Harry was just about to excuse himself from the Weasley parents as they seemed to be set to get into a rather good row. Harry's experience with adults having a row lead to him either getting beaten, thrown into his cupboard, withheld food for any length of time or all three. While the Weasleys seemed nicer than the Dursleys the conditioning that Harry lived his life under had him quietly creeping away from the arguing redheads.
Arthur, realizing that he was getting somewhat off the subject by arguing with his wife, looked around and saw Harry trying to make himself small and unnoticeable as his friends' parents finished their "discussion". Alarm bells ringing quite loudly in his head, Arthur was more determined then ever to do right by Harry, regardless of the costs. Focusing back on his son's friend, Arthur noticed that Harry was looking at him with a puzzled look on his face. Smiling to reassure the boy, Arthur addressed him.
"Well Harry I don't know what you've heard about apparitions but it's one of the easier ways of getting around in the magical world once you've gotten the hang of it. Admittedly it does take some getting used to, but it truly is the fastest way to get someplace, provided you know where you're going." Arthur finished, seeing that his explanation seemed to be making Harry more nervous, instead of calming him, as was his intention. Deciding to start again Arthur told Harry what he needed him to do in order to get to where they were going.
"I am going to let Hedwig out of her cage so that she can fly on to Hogwarts and meet you there; she should arrive roughly at the same time as the Express does." Seeing the worried look on Harry's face, Arthur smiled at how quickly the boy had connected with his familiar, something that usually happens much later in the life of a wizard or witch if it does at all. It was said that those witches and wizards that do form such a bond with their familiar will be some of the most powerful magicals in history. Thinking about his suspicions of Harry's home life the smile dropped from Arthur's face. Realizing that he could have a fight on his hands, Arthur attempted to address the boy's concerns.
"Harry have you used Hedwig to send any messages since you've gotten her?" Arthur asked Harry. Seeing Harry shake his head in the negative caused Arthur to frown, one of the principle views of familiars was that they needed to be able to explore from time to time, to stretch their wings, if you forgive the pun, in order to fully connect with their and their familiar's magic. Keeping a wizard's familiar locked up could cause significant damage to the magic of both the familiar as well as their wizard or witch, one of the reasons that so many witches and wizards wait till later in their life to acquire their familiar, so they have the space and time to attend to them.
"I don't know if you were told this when you got Hedwig but she needs to be allowed the freedom to fly regularly in order for her magic to grow and not potentially damage her." Arthur explained to Harry, upon hearing this Harry got a nervous look on his face. This was something that would never be allowed at the Dursleys, if he went back after next year and told his relatives this they would be liable to kill Hedwig outright than have anymore "freakiness" in their nice normal existence. Seeing the look on Harry's face Arthur once again promised to look into Harry's home life, thinking about how Harry arrived this past summer he should have realized that something other than what it seemed was going on. While the twins like the odd joke and prank, they never purposely did anything that would break the law or otherwise harm anyone in the family, well not often enough to direct attention to themselves.
Arthur, after thinking it over, decided that he would have to have a talk with both Molly and Percy about how they treat the other members of the family. After all, one should expect support from their family, even if said family didn't agree with what they chose as a career, so long as the career didn't endanger either themselves or others around them. Unlike his wife, Arthur thought that Percy shouldn't work for the Ministry and instead had tried to get his son interested in apprenticing to a master and learn how to do something beneficial like Bill and Charlie were doing. Molly quickly put a stop to this train of thought in Percy and he was set to go to the Ministry all the way. Arthur could only hope that it worked out the way that both his son and wife wanted it to. Little did he know that by the end of the day there would be no Weasley's working at the Ministry for quite some time to come.
Again, realizing that he'd gotten himself off topic, Arthur turned to Harry. After instructing him to let Hedwig loose so that the bird could fly its way to Hogwarts and not be inconvenienced by their method of travel, Arthur grabbed Harry by the shoulder. All of a sudden Harry felt as though he was being dragged through the hose that he used to water Aunt Petunia's flower beds. It was not a pleasant experience. As they came out of whatever that was, Harry stumbled away from Arthur and puked up the large breakfast that Molly had fed all of them earlier that morning. Arthur was instantly at Harry's side righting the young wizard, lest he fall flat on his face.
"Steady there lad, that's a good boy, Harry." Arthur's voice was calm and steadying as Harry gasped in huge lung fulls of air as he tried to get his senses back after what he just experienced. Looking around, Harry wasn't sure where they were, it didn't look like the front of Hogwarts as he knew it. For all he knew, after your first year, you enter Hogwarts from a different direction. Harry was sure that Hermione would know, but with her being on the express he couldn't ask her. As another reason that he was angry at Ron filled his head, Arthur grabbed his shoulder again, and while frowning at how Harry tensed up directed the two of them to the school.
As they walked along, Arthur pulled his wand out; after he murmured to it for a bit he cast a spell that caused a silvery translucent weasel to come out of his wand. Arthur flicked his wand in the direction of the castle and the patronus shot off ahead of them in order to notify the staff of Hogwarts that they were coming. Arthur was sure that the teachers would be some what shocked to learn that Harry had difficulty getting there. Besides, he needed Dumbledore's counsel as to how to deal with what his youngest son had done.
As the man and boy came upon the castle proper, they were met with the large form of Hagrid coming out of his hut on the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest. Arthur wondered if Dumbledore had sent him to meet them, whether the great wizard had put some sort of sensory alert charm on the hut to allow Hagrid to know when someone was coming upon his domicile, or if Hagrid had just that much situational awareness. An interesting conundrum, but not something to puzzle just now, besides, any further musings were cut short as Hagrid saw them approaching and with a large grin splitting his face came down to meet them.
" 'Arry, what are you doing here so early, the muggles didn't give you anymore trouble did they?" Hagrid asked, with a look on his face suggesting he'd be more than willing to go and have a "talk" with them if Harry's answer was yes to his question, completely ignoring Arthur. Harry smiled at Hagrid's over protectiveness; when Harry finally got in contact with Hagrid after Dobby stopped messing with his mail, the half giant was ready to go and "talk" to Harry's relatives and remind them how they should be treating their nephew. Harry didn't know if Hagrid lived up to that threat and didn't really want to know, his life with his relatives had been hard enough this past summer, but it was nice to know that there was somebody in the world that would act this way on his behalf. Realizing that he hadn't answered Hagrid's question he replied.
"No Hagrid the muggles haven't given me any trouble, it's actually platform 9¾. I couldn't get on it to board the train to get to Hogwarts. Mr. Weasley found me and apparated me here to Hogwarts and then used some spell to alert you and get me the rest of the way, I guess." Harry explained to his large friend.
Hagrid wasn't sure what to think about what Harry told him, although he was glad that the muggles seemed to be treating Harry better. He never had to deal with the platform when he went to Hogwarts; Dumbledore, the great man, had made a portkey for him that would only work on the days of the train and get him to Hogwarts on time and back the first day and last days of term so that he could skip the cramped conditions of the Hogwarts Express. While Hagrid was sad that the Express was another thing about the normal Hogwarts experience that he didn't get to participate in, the school made up for it in other ways. There was always something interesting happening at Hogwarts. After thinking about it, Hagrid decided to take Harry and Arthur to Dumbledore and let him sort it out.
"C'mon 'Arry, Dumbledore will be wanting to see you and hear what happened himself." Hagrid said, gesturing ahead of himself to the castle beyond. Boy, man and giant walked up to the castle in friendly silence, all three reliving memories of their time at Hogwarts, Harry's as short as it had been thus far. Really of the three only Arthur could be said to have hade mostly pleasurable memories, what with Hagrid getting expelled in his third year and Harry meeting a form of the being that killed his parents and attempted to kill him as well, neither of the two men could say that all of their memories were bad, while Harry was just hoping that this year would be less exciting than the pervious one.
The time to get to the Headmaster's office didn't take very long at all. Harry was sitting in front of the Headmaster's desk with Mr. Weasley on his right. Hagrid had traded them off to Professor McGonagall when they arrived at the entrance to the castle, who took them the rest of the way to the Headmaster's office.
Upon entering the Headmaster's office ('cream egg') Harry was sitting in front of the Headmaster's desk with Mr. Weasley on his right, the Headmaster was behind his desk with McGonagall and Snape on either side of him. Harry, already feeling nervous, felt his nerves ratchet up another notch. He was worried about not taking the train to get to Hogwarts on top of Dobby getting him in trouble with the ministry. The fact that both professors were looking at him in disapproval just made him even tenser. Dumbledore opened his mouth to inquire as to why Harry was so early and why he hadn't taken the Express to get to school when Snape, apparently unable to contain himself started berating Harry.
"So, didn't feel like taking the Express to school, or after riding it last year did you think that you were too good to ride to school like everyone else and demanded that Weasley apperate you to Hogwarts instead?" Snape accused Harry with a sneer on his face. Harry was about to reply, and potentially get a detention before school even began when Dumbledore raised his hand with a frown of disapproval on his face.
"Severus! I have spoken to Arthur and by all accounts young Harry here couldn't get past the barrier to Platform 9¾ in order to board the train. I was just about to ask Harry if he wouldn't mind showing me his memory of the event before we go any further."
Here Dumbledore gestured to a cabinet to the side. Upon opening, a stone basin floated out and settled itself upon Dumbledore's desk. Speaking to Harry, Dumbledore explained what he had just taken out.
"Harry, what you see before you is referred to as a pensive. As I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind, I use the pensive to view my memories to get a better handle on them. Also it can be used to show events that have happened to someone else that could be informative to other people. It is this format that we are to use the pensive today. All you have to do Harry, is think of everything that happened to you from arriving a King's Cross station until meeting with Hagrid earlier. I will extract the memory, a painless process I assure you, and store it in the pensive so that we can all observe it. Once we have finished with our observation, your memory will be returned to you and we can discuss what we have learned from it." Dumbledore finished.
Harry was nervous; while he thought that he understood the process as Dumbledore described it the idea of losing his memories for any amount of time filled him with nerves. Ignoring Snape's disbelieving scoff that Harry didn't know how to use something as simple as a pensive and that he was just acting like a dunderhead to gain sympathy, Harry summoned the memories required. Nodding to Dumbledore, Harry felt the strange feeling of his memories being extracted. While there were still what you might call remnants of the memories still in his head they were distant and unfocused. After filling the basin, Dumbledore turned to Harry. Gesturing to the pensive, Dumbledore begin to speak.
"We will now view your memories; by placing a finger upon the memories our consciousness will be drawn into the pensive and we will be able to experience your memories for ourselves. We will not be able to interact or change them however. I would also ask, if you feel up to it, that you accompany us and act as a guide, as they are your memories, as we experience them." After understanding Dumbledore's explanations and feeling relived that he wouldn't be completely violated by Snape seeing what happened, Harry nodded in assent to Dumbledore's proposal.
As Dumbledore explained, with the laying of a finger on the surface of the pensive they were all drawn into Harry memory of what happened. Snape was surprised at Harry's refusal to take the car to school. He figured Harry wouldn't be able to pass up showing off like that. Arthur, seeing what his son did, hoped that Ron arrived at Hogwarts safely while hoping that his job was secure after the fall out from his son's action. Upon being spat out of the pensive and back into their own bodies the people in the room took a minute to gather their thoughts before Dumbledore spoke.
"Hopefully this is a manageable situation that will pass without much difficulty. However, on the chance that isn't the case, after this meeting I will floo Amelia Bones to let her know that Obliviators are needed to be sent along Ronald's likely flight plan. If we're lucky young Ronald will follow the tracks of the Hogwart Express, thereby keeping him relatively out of the sight of muggles. After that is taken care of we will deal with Ronald, once he gets to Hogwarts. Arthur," Here the wizard look up from nervously staring at his shoes, "upon getting to Hogwarts, once Mr. Weasley lands he will be taken and assigned punishment, if everything goes for the best that punishment will just be detention with Mr. Filch, if not then Ronald might face charges of purposely breaking the Statue of Secrecy, although I hope it doesn't go that far." Dumbledore concluded.
Arthur Weasley was a simple wizard, he had a job and family he loved, while his fascination with muggle could occasionally get him in trouble with both the muggle and magical government he was a decent man that just wanted to live his life and be happy and let that be the norm for everyone else. To hear that his hobby could be the cause of him getting into trouble as well as his son filled him with dread. While he had hoped that Ronald would not cause as much trouble as the twins it would appear meeting Harry Potter had put that wish to an end.
Not that Arthur blamed either Harry or Ron for the lad's inferiority complex, he mostly blamed Molly if he was to be honest with himself. Molly was so glad to have a daughter that she somewhat focused completely on Ginny, ignoring Ron and leaving his raising to his brothers, stepping in only when it looked like Fred and George were picking on Ron to much. Arthur did his best to help Ron acclimate to being a wizard going to Hogwarts but there was a larger than normal number of cases that his office was dealing with in the years before Ron left for Hogwarts and he was afraid that the boy somewhat slipped through the cracks in being taught how he was expected to act upon entering Hogwarts. Arthur wondered if he'd get another chance to fix what his and Molly's neglect led to. Realizing that there wasn't much that he could do right now and knowing that there were preparations that he needed to start, Arthur took his leave of Albus' office, giving Harry's shoulder a squeeze upon passing, assuring the boy again that nothing that happened was his fault. After seeing Arthur off, Dumbledore turned and addressed Harry.
"Harry I wish to reiterate what Arthur just said, none of this is your fault. You made your own choice as did Ronald. For now I think it would be best if you were to go to your dorm and unpack your trunk and get ready for the year ahead of you. Minerva," Here Dumbledore look at the Head of Gryffindor, "will you accompany Mr. Potter to his dorm and inform him of the password so that he can get ready for the coming year?" Dumbledore asked his Deputy.
"Come along Potter, we'll get you situated and maybe you'd get started on finishing any summer work that you haven't completed. If you have finished you summer work then I would suggest that you look into the available classes that you can choose from for next year. Remember that you need to pick a minimum of two of them for the up coming school year." McGonagall ended as they arrived at the door to Gryffindor's common room. After telling Harry the password, (wattlebird) McGonagall left Harry to finish with her last minute duties before the rest of the school arrived, impressing upon him what time he need to be at the Great Hall for the opening feast at a quarter to six to arrive with the rest of the students.
It felt odd to Harry to be all alone in the common room without any of the rest of Gryffindor. Harry did what he was bidden; went through his summer course work and made sure that it was ready to be handed in at the start of class. What he wasn't sure about went into a pile to ask Hermione to look over after the feast. After that Harry went up to his dorm room and made sure that his stuff was were it was last year. Upon completing that, Harry opened his charms book and started reading.
Four and a half hours later, an elf (Mipsy) was sent to fetch Harry as the Express was set to arrive in fifteen minutes. Mipsy, seeing that Harry was struggling to put all of his books, parchment, ink and quills back, had everything situated with a wave of her hand. Thanking the elf, Harry threw on his school robe and made his way to the great hall.
Upon sitting down at his customary spot at the Gryffindor table, which felt weird being the only person sitting there, Harry watched the staff situate themselves at the head table. As Harry's eyes swept over the professors he was met with mostly sympathetic faces save Snape who looked like he wanted to hex Harry where he sat. As this was Snape's normal face when looking at Harry, he ignored it.
Noise coming from the entrance of the Great Hall had Harry turning his head that way. He waved at Angelina Johnson and Katie Bell as they came in. Draco Malfoy, after he came in looked as though he was going to come over and give Harry a hard time for not being on the train, he was stopped by Hermione throwing herself at Harry when she saw him.
"Harry, I didn't see you on the train, after not being able to get in contact with you this summer I was worried you weren't going to make it to Hogwarts." Hermione spat out in a rapid fire patter. Seeing some other students looking over at them, Harry took Hermione's hand and led her to the table where he explained what had happened when he had tried to get to the train.
As Harry explained, Hermione's face got more and more worried as she listened to him. Harry's comment that he had warned Dumbledore caused a release of some of the tension from her face, but she was still angry and worried about Ron taking the Car ("really a flying car") and making it to Hogwarts without being seen.
As Hermione ranted and grumbled, Harry continued to eat his dinner. When his friend started muttering under her breath, Harry felt that it was safe enough to pop his head up and take lay of the land. It seemed safe enough with Hermione sitting across the table from him, and Harry groaned, watching the incoming first years trickle in. He noticed Ginny Weasley, Ron's little sister staring at him avidly, to his annoyance. He didn't mind Ginny when she wasn't crushing on him but given that that was her default position around him, Harry was considering asking Fred and George to take Ginny aside and explain to her how much being stared at unsettles him.
Harry had just finished his first serving and was starting to dish himself seconds when a shadow fell across the great hall. As Harry started to look up he heard shrieks of fear from around the hall, more worrying was Hermione. Harry didn't hear what she said at first he was too dumbstruck staring at the car that looked like it was going to crash into the ceiling of the great hall.
"I can't believe he's doing this, has Ron lost all of his common sense over the summer?!" Hermione shrieked as she backed away from the table and towards the entrance of the Great Hall along with most of the students, who were also backing away from their places at the table. The students who were to be sorted, Ginny Weasley included, were quickly directed into and alcove off to the side of the hall. Harry stood for a moment stupefied as he watched the Weasley's car, on an apparent collision with the roof of the great hall. Harry still would have been standing where he was if Fred and George hadn't grabbed him under his arms and dragged him with them out of the Great Hall.
The impact, when it came, was much louder than Harry had expected. It sounded as if some giant was trying to force its way through the ceiling with one single punch. Most of the hall screamed with fear. Harry was vindictively pleased to notice that Malfoy was one of those that reacted.
To Harry's great surprise, the masonry of the ceiling seemed to be crumbling and breaking. Looking back up, Harry saw that the car seemed to be about to land all four wheels on the roof of the great hall. Unfortunately the structural damage that the car had already caused on the roof was greater than anyone anticipated. With a great shower of stone and brick, Arthur Weasley's prized Ford Anglia came crashing through the ceiling of the great hall, Ron holding onto the steering wheel in a death grip screaming his way down.
"Anyone who knows it, cast Aresto Momentum at what is coming through the ceiling right now!" Dumbledore ordered in a booming voice. Thinking back on it Harry concluded that the Headmaster had cast Sonorus to be heard over the screaming and shrieking that had started with the realization of the car about to crash into the ceiling.
Calmed by Dumbledore taking charge of the situation, a great number of voices were heard incanting the requested spell, causing the car to slow and come to a stationary and safe stop as it was gently lowered to the ground before the incanters released it from the spell. As he was observing the people around him in the Great Hall, Harry noticed that Hermione was one of the people that had cast the spell that caused the car to slow and then stop.
As the dust and debris cleared from the car's memorable entrance, people got a look at who was at the wheel of the vehicle that came plummeting through the ceiling endangering a great number of students in the process. Ronald Weasley looked as though he had just survived a horrible accident in a granite mind and was still out of it when the professors got to him. Professor McGonagall opened her mouth to assumedly start berating her student when Snape beat her to it.
"So the Express not go enough for you Weasley, had to make a spectacle did we? Well I hope you're happy with yourself. Your family and it's decedents will be paying for it for quite some time I assure you." Seeing Harry in the audience, Snape started to berate him.
"You put him up to this didn't you Potter? Didn't want to get in trouble yourself, left that to Weasley didn't you? Well you'll get what's coming to you rest assured. Two hundred points from Gryffindor apiece, nightly detentions with Filch and I think a ban from the Gryffindor Quidditch team will do nicely as well. You can just hand over that broom. You won't be using it for a while, might as well give it to someone more deserving of it." Snape seemed like he was going to continue in this vein when Dumbledore stopped him.
"Severus!" The Headmaster's voice boomed and demanded to be listened to. Snape stopped with a jolt at the tone of the Headmasters voice. Turning, the potion professor winced at the look on his employer's face. Dumbledore had a palatable aura around him and his eyes, instead of twinkling, were flashing lightening at Snape.
"Harry is not at fault here, while I had advanced warning by him of Mister Weasley's means of arriving at Hogwarts, neither he nor I thought that Ronald would arrive in such a notable fashion. You can rest assured that I will talk to the pertinent parties and discuss what reparations, if any, need to be doled out." Dumbledore finished with a look towards Snape that told him to be silent that the professor grudgingly obeyed, sending a glare towards Harry, who by this time had made his way over to the Anglia to check and see if Ron was alright after his crash through the ceiling.