Chapter 9: Getting To Know You
|Chapter 8||Chapter Index||Chapter 10|
With Dan and Emma away for the day at their dentist office, Ron and Hermione began packing the contents of the house for the move back to England. With the two of them working at it, and the help of a few packing spells, the chore was moving along quite nicely. Most of the rooms in the house now had boxes occupying a fair amount of the floor space. Pictures and decorations no longer added hominess to the rooms. The bookshelves and storage areas were mostly empty.
With her wand illuminating the darkness, she rummaged in the back of a closet searching for a particular box. "It's got to be here," she thought, "Mum and Dad would never throw it away." Pointing her wand at a large box she said, "Mobilicapsa!" Backing out of the closet, the floating box followed her and she placed it in a corner of the bedroom. Then returning to the closet, the light from her wand fell upon an old shabby looking cardboard box. "That's it!" she thought excitedly and carefully carried the box out of the closet.
Raising her voice she said, "Ron, come here for a minute." She sat down on the floor with her back against the side of the bed and the box in front of her.
A moment later, Ron appeared at the doorway.
"Come sit down with me. I want to show you something."
Ron sat down beside her on the floor and watched. Opening the top flaps of the box, she removed a layer of crumpled newspaper. A photo album resting atop more crumpled newspaper was revealed. The cover contained a picture of a much younger Dan and Emma with large gold letters proclaiming Our Wedding Day. She lifted the photo album out from the box and placed it on the bed. Then, she replaced the crumpled newspaper and reclosed the box.
Taking her wand, she touched the top of the box saying, "Mihi Audite!" She rotated the box one full turn clockwise and then one full turn counter-clockwise. Touching the box again with her wand she said, "Mihi Praesto!"
After a quick glance at Ron, she opened the box and they both looked inside. The box now contained photo albums, scrapbooks, and other objects. She reached into the box and withdrew a flat circular piece of glazed clay bearing the hand imprint of a child. She looked at it for a moment and then handed it to Ron. "I made this in kindergarten for my mum and dad."
Ron smiled warmly as he examined it. "Your hand was so small."
She withdrew a photo album from the box and placed it in her lap. Ron leaned in close as she opened the cover revealing a page filled with photos. "This is when they brought be home from hospital, I was just two days old."
"You look good in pink. And look at all the hair on your head." He pointed to another group of pictures. "Who are these people here? It looks like your Christening."
"Yes." She pointed to each picture. "These are my Godparents, ... that's Nana holding me, ... and that's Papa. ... When I was a little girl, Papa could always make me laugh. I still miss him sometimes."
The passage of time went unnoticed as they continued looking at the photos. She told him some memorable stories and they laughed at funny expressions on people's faces. Then she showed him a scrapbook filled with artwork that she had done in muggle school before going to Hogwarts.
Later, as she was putting the items back into the box he said, "This was great Hermione. Thanks for sharing your special growing up memories with me."
"You're welcome. We'd better get back to the packing."
"I've finished in the other room. Why don't you go and read the newspaper like you wanted and I'll finish up in here."
She kissed him on the cheek. "Thanks."
With the packing completed a while later, Ron made his way to the living room. He paused at the doorway. Hermione sat on the couch reading the newspaper she held in her hands. He looked at her for a moment, quietly moved to the other couch, and sat down across from her. From his viewpoint, her head and face were visible above the top of the newspaper. Time seemed to slow and he became lost in thought as he intently looked at her. Though he had spent most of the last year with her, there seemed to be something different about her now. "Maybe it's her hair," he thought as his gaze drifted across the top and sides of her head. After a moment he thought, "No, it's soft and satiny like always. That's not it." His gaze followed the gentle curve of her neck up to her chin and then lingered on her lips ...
"What are you thinking?"
He looked further up and saw two brown eyes focused on him.
"I, ah ... I'm watching you read the newspaper."
"Well," she said with a small smile, "it's a bit distracting."
"Am I making too much noise?"
She giggled. "No, I'm just not used to you staring at me while I read."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you." He grinned. "I'll look around the room a bit more."
"That's not going to help. I'll still know you're watching."
"Maybe if I close my eyes, like this?" He tilted his head back slightly and squinted.
She snickered, "You're peeking."
He opened his eyes. "Just trying to take an interest in your leisure time activities."
"Well then, here." She handed him part of the newspaper. "Read this, it's the sports section."
"Thanks." ... For a short while, he riffled through the pages.
"There's nothing in here about Quidditch."
"It's my mum and dad's muggle newspaper," she said without looking up from her reading.
"Ah ..." He glanced around the page looking for an interesting article. Finding nothing, he lowered the paper and gazed over the top of the page at her.
After a very long quiet moment, she glanced up from her reading. He was looking at her with squinted eyes and crinkled nose.
She laughed and he grinned broadly.
"Tell you what. Why don't you pop over to the Drowsy Dragon and get us a magical newspaper. It will have Quidditch in it. And see if you can also find one with news from England. Use the Australian money that our sneaky friend Harry left behind."
"You know it's making him happy to help us."
"I know. I haven't seen him that happy for a long time."
"And I'm sure he enjoyed hiding it in your tube of toothpaste."
She grinned and nodded.
"What if the travel agent calls while I'm away?"
"Then I'll fill you in when you get back."
"Oh ... okay. But ... I kinda wanted to try talking on it."
"There will be plenty of opportunity for you to call and talk to me once were back in England. While you're getting the newspaper, maybe you can find something about telephones so you can set one up at the Burrow."
"Yeah," he said enthusiastically. Then with a questioning expression said, "Why don't we just do something magical like the badges Kingsley gave us?"
"Because my parents have muggle friends that might be in the house. It would be very hard to explain me talking to a fuzzy bluish cloud. The magic can't be obvious."
Ron nodded his understanding. Then, with a concerned look he said, "Will you be okay here alone?"
She tilted her head slightly and looked at him with pressed lips and raised eyebrows.
"Right ... okay then." He stood and moved over to her. Leaning down, he kissed her on the cheek. "See ya in a bit."
She watched as he took a few steps away. There was a brief moment of concentration on his face before he disapparated with a gentle pop. She snickered delightedly to herself and then continued to read the newspaper.
A whoosh and pop announced Ron's return as he apparated into the Granger living room. He turned to Hermione seated on the couch. "I'm back. Did you miss me?"
"Of course, what took you so long?"
He sat down beside her and handed her the newspapers. "I had a hard time finding something that described how muggle telephones work. From what I gather, there are two kinds. There's the kind that plugs into a wall, like that one over there on the table. And then there's the other kind that doesn't use wires."
With a thoughtful expression he said, "Muggles can do some pretty impressive things without magic."
"Yes, they certainly can."
"Did the travel agent call?"
"Yes, she did. It's all arranged. We leave for England in five days. We need to go by her office day after tomorrow and pick up the tickets and travel itinerary. It will be a full day of travel to get to London."
"Wow, a whole day on a muggle air transport? Do we need to pack a lunch?"
"No, they serve meals on the flight."
"What can you do while you're flying?"
"They have in-flight movies and music. You should bring along a book to read."
He thought for a moment. "Do you think I could find a book about muggle telephones at that bookstore your mum talked about last night?"
"Maybe. If not, we could stop by the library."
"Let's do both. We could go to that library with the domed reading room you mentioned the other day. We can also get some lunch while were out."
"That sounds like a perfectly wonderful afternoon to me."
"Okay then. Let's go."
They both stood. "Do you need to check your map?"
Smiling, he raised his arm to escort her. "I already did."
She smiled warmly. Taking hold of his arm, she gave him a quick kiss. A moment later, they disapparated.
Later that evening, Dan, Emma, Hermione, and Ron sat at a table in the Tea House restaurant enjoying the evening meal. The conversation was lively as they shared the activities of the day.
"... and we'll pick up the tickets from the travel agent day after tomorrow. Almost everything in the house is packed and ready for the moving company," said Hermione.
"My word," said Emma. "How did you do it so ... never mind, I know." Hermione and Ron grinned.
"When will you be done at the dentist office?" asked Hermione.
"The new owner of the practice came in today," said Dan, "Your mum showed him the patient records. I'll go over the inspection of the equipment with him tomorrow."
Emma said, "The licensing agent will come the following morning for us to sign the business transfer papers. At that point, the new owner will assume the business and cover local emergencies. We'll be free to go."
"Blimey," said Ron. "I never imagined all the rules and regulations you have to keep in mind."
"We were a bit overwhelmed at first too," said Dan. "But we were able to get into a class at the University that helped us get it all sorted out."
"That class was our first clue as to your whereabouts," said Hermione. "We saw your names on the attendance sheet in the records office."
"Our alter egos," smiled Emma. "Wendell and Monica will always be our special secret names."
After a moment, Dan said, "Did you spend the whole day packing?"
"No, we finished late in the morning. Ron took me out for lunch and then to the bookstore and library."
"He certainly knows how to sweep you off your feet," smiled Emma.
She smiled and briefly glanced at Ron. "He does indeed. We went to the domed reading room at the Melbourne library. It's a wonderful and awe inspiring place. We spent most of the afternoon there."
"Yeah, it was great," said Ron. In a quiet voice he said, "They have a magical section with a secret entrance."
"Do they?" said Dan in surprise.
"Yeah, there's a hallway that leads to what looks like a closet door. If you touch your wand to the door lock, it opens."
"It was huge and they had so many books about magic. I'd still be there if Ron hadn't brought me home."
"And I found some information about how magic telephones work," said Ron enthusiastically.
"A magic telephone?" whispered Emma.
"Yeah, so I can call you from the Burrow," said Ron confidently. "It's a bit complicated but I think I can work it out. I fancy using a wall mounted telephone like I saw in a picture. It's made of wood and you turn a crank to call someone."
"I'm looking forward to seeing it when you've finished," said Dan.
"Ron," said Emma, "There are some things at our office that need to be packed away. Would you mind coming to work with us tomorrow and lending a hand?"
"Sure, I'd be happy to help."
"Is there a lot to be done?" said Hermione.
Dan said, "No, it's just some old bulky equipment that needs to be put into storage until I find a buyer. It all still works but the new owner doesn't want it. I saved all of the wooden crates and boxes in the utility room."
"Okay," said Ron. He turned to Hermione. "You said earlier you wanted to go back to the magical library. Why don't you do that tomorrow?"
"I was just thinking that too. Yes, that will work perfectly. I want to lookup information on Australian law and magical creatures. It will be interesting to see the issue from a different perspective."
The next morning after breakfast, Ron accompanied Dan and Emma to their dentist office. Dan showed Ron the dental machines that needed disassembly and boxing. Emma showed him the patient records that needed boxing for archive storage. Then Dan led him to the utility room where the containers were stored.
"Catch us between patient appointments if you need anything," said Dan. "Here's a cap and a tool belt you can use."
"Wicked," said Ron with a grin as he took the heavy leather tool belt and began strapping it on.
Dan smiled to himself. Then, the sound of a small bell announced the arrival of the first morning patient.
"Time for work," said Dan and he hurried away toward his office.
Ron spent the next few minutes examining the tools on the belt. He had never seen some of the tools before and imagined how each might be used. He felt a special kind of empowerment wearing the belt slung low around his waist. He was certain that his father would be very fascinated by it. Then taking the brim of the cap in hand, he put it smartly on his head and got to work.
For most of the morning, Dan and Emma hardly had time to rest. Nevertheless, each of them found a few minutes between patients to chat with Ron. At first, progress was slow as Ron learned to use the tools on the belt instead of magic. But after only a short while, he was confidently disassembling the large items and carefully packing them away. After closing the boxes and wooden containers, he used a hand dolly to move them into a large storage container behind the dentist office.
Much later, there was a gentle knock on the open door of the utility room. "How about a break for lunch?" said Emma as she peeked into the room.
"Is it lunch time?" said Ron looking up. "I didn't realize it's been that long."
"My word, you're done. Thank you. I don't know how we'd have gotten this finished in time without your help."
"You're welcome. Some of the equipment was really interesting."
After lunch, Ron helped Emma box up the old patient records in the reception area of the office. As they were working Emma said, "The more we learn about the magical world, the more thankful we are to you and Harry for looking after Hermione at school all these years. We really appreciate it."
"It was the other way 'round much of the time. She's really brilliant and clever with magic. I can't imagine how we'd have gotten on this last year without her. She's a really good friend."
"From what Dan and I see, perhaps a bit more than just a friend with you?" smiled Emma.
He smiled. "Yeah, took a war to make us say it but we both fancy each other. Sometimes we argue about things, Harry would say we always do. But we both know we're just looking out for each other. Hope that makes sense."
"Indeed it does. I'm happy to know that she has such good friends. On her second birthday, we received a letter from Hogwarts that told us she was magically gifted. The letter said to keep secret any accidental magic we might see, that it was natural and not to worry. As time went by, we worried that we might be sheltering her too much. She spent most of her free time indoors reading. We did lots of things as a family but she didn't have any close friends during elementary school."
Just then, the bell on the door sounded and a woman with two young children stepped into the waiting area.
"That's the afternoon appointments," said Emma in a low voice. "I have to go. Can you finish with the rest of the files?"
"Yeah, no problem."
Emma stood and stepped around the reception counter into the waiting area. "Hi Johnny. Hi Krista. Who's first today?"
"Me!" replied the young girl exuberantly.
The mother said, "Johnny, wait over there. I'll be back with you in a few minutes." The woman and girl followed Emma down the hallway to the treatment room.
Ron peeked over the reception counter into the waiting area. Johnny was sitting in a corner chair with his hands tightly clasped in his lap.
Ron moved into the waiting area and sat down a few chairs away. "Hi. Is this your first time here?"
"No," said Johnny in a quiet voice. "I have to get a cavity fixed."
"Sorry to hear that. It won't be too bad. I know the dentists here and they're really good."
"Yeah, but I still don't like it."
"I've had to do some unpleasant things too," said Ron with a distant gaze. Then he looked at Johnny. "Just between you and me, I'm a wizard. Don't tell anyone 'coz it's a secret. But if you want, I can teach you a magic verse that will help."
In a disbelieving tone he said, "You're not a wizard."
"Sure I am. Here, let me show you." Reaching into his pocket, he withdrew a large coin and held it up for Johnny to see. Then he placed the coin in the flattened palm of his hand. Covering the coin with his other flattened hand he said, "Abracadabra!" When he opened his hands, the coin was gone.
Johnny looked at Ron with an unsure expression for a moment. "What's the verse?" said Johnny looking away and seeming uninterested.
"Sunshine daisies, meadow bright, this dark time, will turn to light. You have to picture it very clearly in your mind. Go ahead, give it a try."
Quietly Johnny said, "Sunshine daisies ... meadow bright ... this dark time, will turn to light."
"Say it silently to yourself over and over. Be sure to picture it very clearly in your mind. It'll really help."
"Okay ... thanks."
"I'm done Johnny, it's your turn!" came the bubbly voice of Krista as she ran into the waiting area.
"Johnny, do you want me to go in with you?" said his mother.
"No, I'll be okay." He stood and glanced at Ron who covertly gave him thumbs up. Then he walked toward Emma and followed her to the treatment room.
"What's your name," said Krista to Ron.
"I'm Ron. And you're Krista, right?"
"Yes. Dr. Wilkins checked my braces." She crinkled her nose in a toothy grin showing her braces. "I only have to wear them for three more months."
"That's good news. You're going to have an even more awesome smile."
The bell on the door sounded and a middle-aged man carrying a briefcase entered. Ron stood. "Are you Dr. Adams?"
"Yes, I'm here to see Dr. Wendell Wilkins."
"Just a minute while I get him for you."
A moment later, Dan stepped into the waiting room. Ron followed him in and moved behind the reception counter.
"Dr. Adams," said Dan extending his hand toward him. "Everything is ready for you in my office."
"Very good Dr. Wilkins. Let's begin."
"Are you going to be our new dentist?" said Krista in a bright voice.
"Why yes, I am. What is your name?"
He bent down and shook her hand. "A pleasure to meet you Krista. I'm looking forward to seeing you on your next visit."
She smiled. Dr. Adams turned and followed Dan toward the office.
Ron continued boxing the patient records. A short while later, Johnny came back into the waiting room followed by Emma. He stood up to watch.
"He's all done and good as new," said Emma to his mother. "The numbness will start to wear off in an hour or so."
"Thank you. All the best for the two of you in England. Come Krista, it's time to go."
As they walked to the door, Johnny looked toward Ron and gave him thumbs up. Ron gave him double thumbs up in return. As the door was closing, Ron took hold of his concealed wand and quietly said, "Assem in sinum tuum."
After the door closed, Emma turned to Ron. "What did you say to Johnny? He is normally a nervous patient but he was very relaxed this time."
"Just something to help him think about other things."
"Well, you have excellent chair side manner. You might consider a career in dentistry."
Much later, as they were about to leave the office for the day, Dan said, "All the papers are signed and the equipment is turned off. I think we're done."
"What about this," said Emma as she set a box down on the desk. "Do we need to store it away?"
"I was going to leave the lost-and-found items here for Dr. Adams. We got almost all of it from Dr. Lewis when he moved to Sydney."
"What's this?" said Ron.
"That's a puzzle," said Dan. "You have to get all the same color on each side of the cube."
Emma reached into the box and picked up a small pony. "The girls really like these ... and these too." She reached in and took out a small stuffed snake with a heart shaped tag.
"Do you think I might have these?" said Ron.
"I don't see why not," said Dan. "No one has ever asked us about these items. More product ideas?"
They arrived home and found that Hermione had not come back yet from the library. "I'll go and fetch her," said Ron with a smile. He moved back a few steps and disapparated with a gentle pop.
He apparated inside the magical library and began walking toward the main desk. As he approached, an open area came into view and a long partitioned table set against the wall caught his attention. Three monitors, each with a matching keyboard, were set on the table. A middle-aged woman was arranging books and supplies on the shelf above the table. She turned to face him as he approached and smiled at the expression on his face.
"Are these computers?" said Ron enthusiastically.
"They are teknikators, a very recent addition to this library. They connect to other libraries and universities worldwide where research information, case law, and published scientific papers are stored. Both magic and non-magic information is available."
"Can anybody use them?"
"They are being made available on a reservation basis to those who are conducting research at this library."
"How do they work? I don't see any wires and I thought computers need electricity to work."
"Teknikators are magically connected. Wires are not necessary."
"I want to find out more about them. Would I be able to get one?"
She reached into a nearby drawer, withdrew a rolled piece of parchment, and handed it to him. "These instructions describe how to magically charm a computer into a teknikator. Be forewarned, the procedures and spells are very challenging. You will likely need a teknizard to help you make it work properly."
"I've never heard of a teknizard."
She lowered her voice speaking just above a whisper. "They're a bit of an odd group of individuals. The teknizard who set up these muttered to himself a lot. But I must say, he was very good with teknikator magic. He got them working in no time at all." She quickly glanced around to be certain no one else was near. Then with a quizzical expression said, "He was also easily excited. I heard him mutter the word yahoo several times."
"Thank you very much. I know someone who could really use one of these."
He gazed at the teknikator as he put the parchment into his pocket. Then he said, "I'm looking for a brown haired woman, probably has a lot of books. Have you seen her?"
With a knowing smile, the librarian nodded and gestured toward the back of the room. "She's in the far corner section of the library in that direction. I've been helping her find books all afternoon."
"Thanks," said Ron.
After a short walk, he saw her seated at a table and writing on a parchment. There was a high stack of books on each side of her. He stopped a short distance behind and gazed at her intently.
Finishing her writing, she leaned back in the chair and rubbed her eyes. Then, sensing a familiar presence, a smile came to her face. "Did you miss me?"
He walked up behind her and began massaging her shoulders and neck. "Course I did."
Tilting her head back, her eyes closed and a tranquil expression came to her face. She let out a deep sigh. "Hmmm ... that feels wonderful."
After a moment he said, "It looks like you've been studying for end of year exams."
In a placid voice she said, "I found so much useful information. I could hardly write it down fast enough. The magical creature laws here in Australia are very different from the ones in England."
"Do magical creatures fair better here?"
"Yes. There's still a lot of inequality but it is much better here."
She turned to face him and enthusiastically said, "And you know what? I'm not the first person to work for fairer treatment of magical creatures in England. I found references to other efforts from the seventies and eighties. I'm going to visit the Ministry of Magic law library when we get back. If I can build on the work that's already been done, I'll be so much further along toward making a new case."
He smiled warmly at the excited look on her face. "That's excellent Hermione. I know you'll be brilliant."
"So are you done for the evening? How about we go get something to eat with your mum and dad?"
"Yes. I got so involved in the research that I didn't have lunch."
"Okay, I'll help you put the books away."
|Chapter 8||Chapter Index||Chapter 10|
This is an original fan fiction story based on the seven book series 'Harry Potter' written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter, the characters, names and related characters are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J.K.R. This is an unofficial, not for profit site and is in no way connected with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros., Inc. This site is not endorsed by any of these aforementioned parties. Rights to characters and their images is neither claimed nor implied. This fan fiction story is owned by the author and subject to copyright law under transformative use.
Copyright © 2015-2017 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California
Last Updated: 10/01/17