Chapter 1 : Teacups and Television
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At the sound of her husband’s voice, Eileen let out a small sigh, before hurrying down rickety stairs, to see what was the matter in the kitchen. Leaning against the doorframe, Eileen asked, “What now?”
Looking up from the television he was fiddling with, Tobias said, “Why doesn’t the tele work?”
He’d interrupted her work for this? Rolling her eyes, “Well, is it plugged in?” Even though Eileen didn’t know much about Muggle devises, she knew enough to know that most of them required electricity.
With a scowl, “Of course it is,” Tobias said, indignantly. “Do you think I’m an idiot?”
Tobias glared at his smirking wife before returning to the television. He fiddled with the knobs a little, “It’s not doing anything.” He pounded the top of the television. “Stupid piece of junk.”
“Did you really call me down here to watch you hit that box?” Eileen wouldn’t put it past him.
Standing up, Tobias ran his fingers through his hair, and said sheepishly, “I was wondering if you could… you know… do something… with magic.” His voice had dropped to a whisper.
It always amused Eileen the way that Tobias viewed magic. He hadn’t been exactly pleased to find out that he had married a witch; he’d been quite annoyed, actually. Ever since then magic had alternated between being a nuisance and an advantage to Tobias.
“I’ve told you magic doesn’t work that way.” Eileen explained, “Magic and Muggle stuff doesn’t really go well together. Especially electronics.” She had heard of cases where mixing magic and Muggle artifacts had gone horribly wrong, and she was in no mood to deal with any unexpected chaos. She dealt with too much chaos already.
Quickly covering up his disappointment – Eileen knew him too well to not recognize every flicker of emotion on his face – Tobias scowled and turned back to the broken television, muttering, “What’s the point of magic if it can’t do anything useful.”
Eileen rolled her eyes. “You just don’t get it.” She went over to the stove and picked up the teakettle.
“Well then please explain it to me,” snapped Tobias.
As she poured water in the teakettle, Eileen muttered, “What’s the point in that? You’re just a Muggle.”
For a moment, neither one spoke, fuming.
Setting the teakettle down on a burner, Eileen thought of all the terrible curses and hexes her father had taught her. She turned the burner on, but… “Tobias, did you pay the electric bill?”
Not looking up from the television he was beginning to take apart in the hopes he’d be able to fix it that way, Tobias said, “Didn’t you drop it off?”
“Well there’s your problem,” laughed Eileen. Stupid Muggles and their electricity.
“Again?” Tobias sighed took a seat at the kitchen table, rubbing her temples.
“I guess I’ll take care of it on Monday,” Eileen said, adding it to her never-ending to-do list. “We’ll just have to make do until then.” She took her wand out from behind her ear and tapped the teakettle, saying, “Aestuatus.” Within moments the teakettle was whistling. Standing on her tiptoes, Eileen grabbed two chipped and stained teacups.
Tobias watched as Eileen bustled about the kitchen, waving her wand and saying words that sounded like something he had heard in church. It was something to marvel at, teabags flying across the kitchen to land exactly in each cup.
Setting a teacup in front of her husband, Eileen said, with a teasing grin, “And to think magic doesn't do anything useful.”
Tobias shrugged and blew on his cup of tea.