Chapter 1 : Romantica a la Roma
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"Hermione," Ron began, "would you like to go to Italy on an all-expenses paid trip?"
"Oh yes, Ron, I'd love to! When are we going?!" Hermione practically screamed. Then all of the sudden, she whispered, "But, oh Ron, how could you afford it?"
"I've got it covered! We're going tomorrow!" Ron replied.
Hermione knew something was up, but she said, "I can't wait!"
~~~~~~~~~a day later~~~~~~~~~
Hermione was packing for Italy when Ginny walked into the girls' dormitory with a very strange smile on her face.
"Oh, Ginny! Did you hear? I'm going to Italy! With RON!"
"Yeah, Hermione, I heard," said Ginny, trying to sound excited. Her mind was on something else, but Hermione didn't notice.
"Ginny," she said softly, "how can he AFFORD it?"
"Um... I dunno," replied Ginny. This time Hermione realized she wasn't really paying attention. But before she could say anything to her, Ron called up from the common room.
"Hermione, are you coming? Or do you just want to forget everything and study or something?" Ron sounded a little worried.
"Oh, sorry Ginny, I've got to go. If I could just find my HISTORY OF HOGWARTS book, I was going to use it to read on the trip if I don't want to talk to Ron..." Hermione rushed down the steps. Ginny didn't seem to take any notice until Hermione was almost to the common room, when she finally yelled, "Bye, Hermione! Bye Ron!"
"There you are," said Ron. "Come on, we're going to be late." He rushed Hermione out of the portrait hole and then explained. "We can take the train or Fred and George have some sort of a plan... something with apparating or something. But we better hurry if we want to make the train."
"Well, I brought some spell books with me, so I could look up how to apparate properly," said Hermione, growing a little worried. She didn't let this show though (it wasn't that hard to smile, given the situation), because she didn't want to hurt Ron's feelings.
Finally they made it to the Great Hall. As Ron had said, Fred and George were waiting for them.
"Hallo," said Fred.
"Greetings," said George.
"We have heard of the two lovebirds' trip to Italy," began Fred. As he did this, Hermione and Ron looked extremely embarassed. He continued, "and thought we might like to help out. Defer the cost, you know."
"We brought some stuff from the Gred and Forge," said George. Hermione started to feel a little faint. He was speaking of Fred's and his joke shop called The Gred and Forge. "Apparating belts. Simply put them on, press the belt buckle, and state where you want to go. Then you will apparate there."
Hermione became horrified. "But that's not the right way to do it! We could end up in some place... just like Harry in second year!"
"That's why you state where you want to go clearly, miss," said Fred. "Now. Just put them on." He pulled the belts out of a blue bag marked "The Gred and Forge Jokers, Inc."
"Er, Fred," began Ron, "how exactly do you put them on?"
"Ah, a very good question, young sir," said George. "Just hold them against you and it will automatically buckle. Try to pull it off and it will come off. Here you go." He handed the Apparating Belts to Hermione and Ron.
"Ron, are you sure..." began Hermione, but Ron looked at his watch and saw they had already missed the train. "Well, then," said Hermione, "I guess we'll do it. But have they been tested before?"
"Well, of course, by Lee Jordan and me and Forge over there," said Fred. "Coming out next month. You're the first to own them - they're yours to keep, by the way - so have fun! Just remember to hold hands so you end up in the same spot-" George snickered, and Hermione began to wonder if something else was going on. She immediatly began to check the belt for any suspiscious charms. Fred continued, "and state clearly. Almost - erm, Hermione, there's no extra charms on there. Any testing will remove the self-buckling one, though, and you'll never get it off. But we've got to go, be careful!" With that, Fred and George left.
"Okay," said Hermione, "we hold hands," she smiled at that thought - the one thing that wasn't scary in her mind - , "and state clearly where we want to go."
"Right," said Ron. "Let's go! How about, Rome?"
"Yes," said Hermione dreamily, "Rome sounds nice..."
“Bloody hell - are you okay, Mya?"
"Yes, Ron, why?"
"You just seemed a little out of it, I dunno. Not studious. Aren’t you worried about getting a job or something?"
"I'll be fine, Ron," said Hermione, "really. I've got to enjoy myself, right honey?"
"Er... right. Let's go."
They put on the belts, joined hands, stated "ROME, ITALY" clearly, and pressed their belt buckles.