Chapter 1 : The Battle is Waged
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There were many things that Ron found fascinating about the Muggle world—a little something he’d picked up from the old man. The primary interest being, of course, the fact that this was the world his wife had grown up in.
“Ron, I don’t have time right now!” Hermione exclaimed without once looking up from the papers she was reading for her upcoming court case. Her reading glasses were close to the tip of her nose, threatening to jump off if she made any sudden moves.
Ron stood in front of her desk, almost feeling like one of her clients rather than her husband. He moved around it to kneel next to her chair and look up at her, knowing that his clear blue eyes were hard for her to resist.
“Please? Your cousin, Archie, said that getting onto Spacebook would allow me to be in touch with your whole family and I just want to be able to know more about you and your family. Is that so wrong?” He wasn’t sure if he was laying it on too thick.
She dropped the sheaf of papers onto the surface of the desk and plucked her glasses off her nose, carefully folding it and laying it aside as well. Her eyes met his, annoyed but with a glimmer of amusement. “It’s Facebook, love, and you know that you really just want to play ‘MafiaWars’ and ‘Bejeweled’. Admit it.”
His face was one of stunned affront. “’Mione! I cannot believe you would think so little of me.” She just gave him a look. He sighed and dropped the hand he had placed against his chest; he could see it was a bit much.
She then gave him a sudden smile which always felt like a square punch to his chest, leaving him breathless, and he knew she knew it as he watched her smile get wider. She bent over to give him a quick kiss. “Alright, I’ll help you.”
It almost felt like a wand, this “remote control”. All he had to do was press a button and voila! the picture on the screen changed. Pressing a different button made the sound go louder or softer. Then there was yet another button that made the screen go blank or made it produce a picture. It was all quite fantastic. He’d been raised thinking that the Muggle world didn’t have any moving photographs but here was the proof that that was all wrong.
Click and there was a picture, or “show” as Hermione had explained to him, that seemed a bit on the melodramatic side, the man with overly large muscles (fake, in Ron’s opinion) trying to explain to a diminutive woman who Ron supposed was his wife, why he had slept with her best friend who incidentally was also her sister.
Click. A moving drawing of a talking sponge who lived underwater popped up.
Click. Ron sat up straight in his chair, eyes completely glued to the screen. It was obviously some sort of sport, with two teams in different colors running back and forth in formation. They were grounded and on a smaller field than Quidditch but there were a few familiar things. There was semi-violence, the men crashing into each other; only one ball but it was something the players both kicked and threw. He didn’t see a Keeper but he thought he could recognize the “Beaters”.
He heard Hermione’s keys jangle on the front door as she came in. “Hello, dear,” she greeted cheerily.
“Hi,” he grunted.
She moved into the living room to find the TV on and Ron leaning forward in his chair, fixated to what was playing. “Oh,” she rolled her eyes, not unfamiliar with the magic the sport seemed to work on the opposite gender, “football.”
Walking past Ron to get to the kitchen, she dropped her heavy bag on his back, ignoring his outraged “Hey!” as she exited the room.
"So wait. You hold this contraption to your ear and then you’ll hear someone else’s voice? Even when they’re not in the same building?”
Hermione sighed and put her book down. “Honestly, Ron, you’d think growing up as a wizard would seem more magical than a cell phone.”
Ron sat next to her, frantically trying to figure out how his new mobile worked. “But it isn’t even connected up to anything! You don’t even have to do a spell!”
“Okay, here.” She grabbed the phone and started entering in digits. “Typing in the phone number is like doing a spell.”
“Wicked.” He immediately grabbed the phone back from her and started punching the buttons, completely ignoring her at this point. Exasperated, she picked up the book she had been reading and turned away from him on the couch. Annoyingly he did not notice.
Hermione came into the kitchen, feeling like she had accomplished something of value in regards to Ron’s continued battle against machines. Her husband was sitting at the table, nursing a can of Butterbeer.
“I was in the bookstore today—“
“Oh. How unusual.”
She continued as if he hadn’t interrupted her, “—when I came across a book that even you, Mr. Weasley, would be interested in.”
She took the book out of its shopping bag and set it down in front of him, almost triumphantly. The cover read Muggle Appliances for Dummies.
“You think I need to read a book? About appliances? ” He pushed the book away from him as if it was diseased. “Man is the conqueror of machines. It’s just the natural order of things.” He sat back and picked up his Butterbeer, as if that was the end of it
She stood still, her gift to him having just been rejected, hurt by his callousness.
Then she exploded.
“Oh you! You are so impossible sometimes! Impossible! You sit here tinkering with things that Muggles learned how to work when they were five years old! I didn’t buy that book because I thought you were stupid!” She threw her hands up in the air, her curls flying about her. “I don’t even know why I help you!” She turned and grabbed her purse off the counter before storming out. “I’m heading back to the office!”
Ron flinched as the door to the apartment slammed. He set his can down and looked at the book Hermione had bought for him. Sighing, he reached over and picked it up.
It took two lattes and hundreds of papers of documentation to calm the steaming Hermione. She set the last sheet aside and glanced at her watch. It was nearly midnight. The work she had in front of her were things that she needed to do, though not necessarily tonight. She rubbed her tired eyes and got up, gathering her things.
Stepping outside, she Apparated home. Quietly she let herself in, thinking Ron would be asleep by now. So she was surprised to see the light in their bedroom still on.
Slowly she walked to the door, discarding her shoes in the hallway and approached the door on silent feet. She figured she’d find him messing with his cell phone or some new device. Not that she really minded, but really, there was only so much she could take.
She nudged the door slowly open, revealing her husband asleep on their bed, his mouth slightly open, a soft snore emitting from him. Facedown on his chest was the book she had gotten him this afternoon, Muggle Appliances for Dummies. She could feel herself softening up as she went around the bed so she was by his side, looking down. He had gotten a good halfway through it.
Unable to help herself, she smiled and leaned down to kiss his forehead. He made an unintelligible sound and rolled onto his side, the book falling off onto the bed. She picked it up and placed it on the nightstand before turning off the lamp.
Yes, Ron could be impossible sometimes, but for the most part, he was exactly right for her.