Sirius was standing by the gate window looking at the planes lining up along the departure gates. He looked younger and very uneasy in his new Muggle jeans and a t-shirt and he kept moving trying to get comfortable. Remus was attempting to calm him down for the last twenty minutes as they waited for their plane to board and he knew that it would get worse once they would actually get in the air.
“I can’t help it. This was a ridiculous and stupid idea. We should just go back and get a portkey like normal people. Dumbledore is just doing this to torture me; he can make an illegal portkey in his sleep,” said Sirius grumpily.
“Sirius, relax, please. You’re driving me crazy. Muggles do this all this time. It is just flying. A few hours and we will be in Barcelona. It won’t take long,” said Remus in a pacifying tone, which he was using in the last few days whenever their trip came up. The closer they got to flying the more nervous Sirius got. Remus felt like he had been repeating the same lines over and over.
“Besides,” Remus added, not for the first time, “it is just like your motorbike. You fly it all the time and drag me on it.”
“It is not the same!” Sirius turned to Remus and his voice took the defensive quality it always took if someone said anything improper about his baby. “It is enchanted and I know it will stay up. With these airplanes, there is no magic! I don’t know how this works.”
Remus put his hand on Sirius’ arm to calm him down. “Well, I do know how this works. It is very safe. I’m always nervous when you take me up anywhere on your bike and I never get nervous when flying on a plane. And I told you I’ve been on airplanes before with my parents. It is really not a big deal.”
Sirius gave an unconvincing hum and turned back to the window.
After another five minutes where he rolled his shoulders and squinted at another plane taking off in the distance, he grumbled, “I just don’t see why we can’t take a portkey. They can’t track illegal portkeys. Why do we have to go all Muggle? And in this stupid clothing.”
Remus didn’t bother responding. He just sat down on the closest chair and hoped that the next few hours would just pass quickly. When Dumbledore told them about their new mission a week ago, he was initially very excited that he would go on one with Sirius together.
He barely saw him lately with Sirius’ Auror training and his own Order missions. And he didn’t mind not using magic for the trip either since there were many summers at home even three years ago where he had to do everything the Muggle way. Especially since his Mum insisted on it. But he really did not count on Sirius’ new and completely irrational fear of flying. Especially since Sirius loved to take his motorbike out as often as possible, much to Remus’ chagrin. Everyday in the last week brought new fears and questions. Now, as much as Remus was glad for some time together, he really wished that Sirius would just calm down before Remus would be forced to break the rules and endanger the mission by using magic on him. He should have bought a calming potion.
Things did get worse once they actually got on a plane and prepared for take-off. Sirius made sure his belt was properly buckled three times and even bothered the steward about it. During the safety demonstration he studied the card more than he ever studied for exams in his life. Finally, Remus just took the card out of Sirius’ hand, shoved the card in its place and took Sirius hand in his own. Sirius was startled enough to stop moving around and looked at Remus. Remus never liked to show affection in public or call attention to his private life so this handholding was really unusual. But it seemed to distract Sirius enough so that Remus could lean close.
Remus whispered. “If anything happens, and it won’t, because this is perfectly safe, you know you can try to apparate. It would endanger the mission but in this instance we could risk it.” He gave Sirius a reassuring smile and squeezed his hand. Then he let go.
Sirius nodded although he did not seem convinced. He checked his belt one more time. Then he reached for Remus’s hand again and held it tightly. Remus let him. Then he thought of something else to try to calm Sirius down.
“You know there are some things we can do on the airplane once it is in the air to pass the time,” he said quietly with a smile.
Sirius leaned closer with a puzzled look on this face. “I’m not reading that bloody magazine,” he said.
“No, not reading. But I can distract you. Ever hear of Mile High Club?” He needed to do something before Sirius discovered turbulence.