Chapter 7 : The One With The Muggle Studies Project
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Is it sad that I was waiting for James to walk into the Muggle Studies lesson?
As in eagerly looking at the door and holding my breath every time someone walked in, in case it was him.
Oh, man. I am such a loser.
I should snap out of it before someone else makes me, or James begins to notice that I’m acting like a lovesick Kneazle. Especially because the lesson has started and he hasn’t shown up. Yeah, great one Abigail, make yourself look like a right loser! I didn’t want him to realise that I had been waiting for him to show up, so I decided to make myself look busy as the teacher greeted the class.
Barely listening to the teacher, I pulled my parchment towards me and take my quill and ink pot to pull it closer as well. Somehow my hand managed to nudge it enough that some ink splashed on the table and my parchment. I let out a small groan as I try to mop it up with a bit of tissue I had in my pocket. I grabbed for my wand and began vanishing the ink from the table and my piece of parchment.
“Now for the rest of the term we’re going to be focusing on Muggle hobbies and pastimes and how different they are to ours. For this I shall be making you work in pairs.”
I kept in my groan at the idea of pairs, I barely talked to anyone in this class and I spent most of it sitting alone. Last year I had Michelle in the class with me so at least if we needed to pair up for anything then I would just pair up with her. I sighed as I thought of just who I might get paired up with out of pity, it would be awkward to talk to them and try to engage with them.
“Sorry I’m late, Professor Hargreaves.”
I looked up at James’s voice as he walked into the room, stopping the teacher from talking. James’s dark hair dishevelled and his bag was slung over his shoulder. He was slightly out of breath as though he had run to the class, which judging by his lateness was probably true.
“Professor Longbottom wanted to talk to me after class, and I didn’t realise I was running late.” James added, an apologetic look crossing his face.
“That’s alright, James, just make sure that it doesn’t happen again. You haven’t missed anything, we were just about to split up into pairs to work on a new assignment.”
“Oh, cool.” He said with a nod, before he made his way towards me. I knew he was going to sit behind me at his usual desk so I continued looking at the teacher. James throwing himself into the seat next to me and getting comfortable made me turn to look at him in surprise.
“I hope you don’t mind me sitting here,” he said to me sheepishly, “I figured we could pair up.”
I nodded at him dumbly, before I snapped myself out of my daydreams of me and James being paired up and becoming closer over the days we spent together. As if that was going to happen, that was something that only happened in fairy tales and comic books.
“That’s fine, we hadn’t even begun choosing partners yet, so...” I drifted off, giving him the chance to pair up with someone else if he wanted to.
“Oh, were you going to pair up with someone else?” He asked seriously, I shook my head quickly.
“No, I was actually wondering who would be my partner when you showed up.” I told him happily. James was going to be my partner and I was quite happy about it.
“Then I have excellent timing.” James told me as the other students around me began pairing up with each other.
“Yes, you do.” I stated, as James began to pull his things out of his backpack.
“Can you smell Ink?” He asked me, sitting up straight and turning so that he was looking me in the eyes, I felt my heart flutter. “I don’t want my bottle to have smashed in my bag.”
“Oh, that... I accidentally spilt my ink bottle over the desk; I’d only just cleaned it up before you came into the lesson.” I told him, wondering just how the smell could still be lingering if I had cleared it up.
“Huh, so what’s our assignment? Have we got to pretend to be mothers and fathers to a bag of flour or an egg, whilst we try not to drop them or sit on them. Something about teaching us how Muggle’s look after their children?” James enquired, I gave a snort of laughter at his comment and shook my head.
“Why are you laughing?” James asked me as he gave a laugh himself. “Victoire told me that, when she learnt that I was going to be taking Muggle Studies as a N.E.W.T subject.”
“Did your cousin even take Muggle Studies herself?” I asked him, I hadn’t heard anything about a subject like that being taught in Muggle Studies.
“No, she didn’t. So, there might be a high chance that she was lying.” James said slowly, before shrugging and grinning.
“How would we even benefit from a lesson like that?” I asked, I could feel the amusement crossing my face. “How would Muggles raising children, be any different to Wizards raising them? They both raise children the same way.”
“What if we all lose our wands?” James countered questioningly.
I struggled not to laugh again, “Is there going to be a mass wand kidnapping across the country?”
James shrugged at my words as he tried to keep a straight face, “It could happen, who knows what the future will bring?”
“I hate to break it to you, Mr. Potter.” Professor Hargreaves said, interrupting mine and James’s conversation. We both looked up at him. “But that’s not what I’ve got planned for this lesson, or any lesson in the future I might add.”
James let a heartbroken look cross his face, before he smiled at the teacher. “I suppose you’ll just have to give us another assignment that’s just as fun then?”
“I have quite a fun assignment planned, you are right, Mr. Potter.” He came to each of our tables individually and handed us a piece of parchment with a worksheet on it with a set of questions. I looked down at it and saw that the questions related to a Muggle TV.
Professor Hargreaves walked to the front of the class and began talking to the class again.
“I have decided that as we’re going to be learning about Muggle TV’s and what they watch on them. We shall be studying popular ‘programmes’ on paper sadly, as TV’s won’t work with the magic around Hogwarts. But in order to get around this, I’m hoping that if I tell you enough information about what a programme is, with a little help from all of you students that actually have a TV in your house, that in a few weeks you can, in pairs, recreate your own programme. Focusing on the main attributes that make it such a popular hobby with Muggles.”
There was an excited murmur across the classroom. I had to admit that even though I had never seen a TV before or a ‘programme’ I was looking forward to trying to make my own. It sounded like it could be a lot of fun and by the look on James’s face I could see that he did too.
“This is going to be brilliant!” James exclaimed as he turned to look at me again. Professor Hargreaves was letting us discuss the topic for a few moments before he would ‘dive’ right in with the class. “Because I had a TV growing up.”
“I never did,” I admitted shaking my head at him and shrugging, I felt like I had been missing out on this TV thing whilst growing up. “My parents didn’t bring me up with Muggle things in the house, it’s always just been magic.”
“My dad wanted us brought up with Muggle things. I think mainly because he wanted us to have what he didn’t have growing up. There has been times when I’ve thought that dad is just reliving his childhood. Which, if he is, fair play to him, he should relive his childhood.” James let out a small laugh as he seemed to be imagining or remembering something funny.
“My dad, once came home with a brand new TV, this thing was massive and I mean it looked too big to fit in our front room and not look out of place. All this was because of my Uncle Dudley, who is my dad’s cousin, but they raised together. It’s a long story -” James added, shaking his head. But, I of course already knew the story, there wasn’t a witch or wizard in this school that didn’t know the story of Harry Potter. They had all grown up knowing the name and the story of his life and everything he had done for the wizarding world.
“- anyway. Uncle Dudley was coming over that night for dinner and dad happened to walk passed a Muggle electrical shop with my Uncle Ron. They were in the area because Uncle Ron was buying jewellery for my Aunt Hermione because of some argument that they had. But that’s not really the point. They went into this electrical shop and dad saw the TV. He knew that this was the opportunity to make my uncle Dudley jealous, so brought it right there and then. He was sneaky though about getting it around my mum. He had it all set up before she got home from work and even charmed the front room so that it became big enough for the TV to fit in. But she was not happy in the slightest, she said that dad needed to stop showing off whenever Uncle Dudley would come over. But dad refused and said that it was payback for something that had happened years ago. But still, we have this massive TV that my mother hates with a fiery passion.”
“Wow.” I said amazed at the story and just how much James can actually ramble when he’s talking about something that he finds funny. It was quite cute really. “That sounds hilarious! And the TV sounds amazing.”
“I’ll have to show you it one day. It is amazing to watch TV on, I could sit in front of that thing all day and watch it noon and night. It’s mainly one of the reasons that my family comes over so much, especially my Uncle Charlie. We’ve had to move it into a shed in the garden though, as whenever someone uses a wand around it. It goes all weird and changes channels randomly and emitting a loud noise. That’s why mum banished it to the shed, because she refused to give up using magic for it. At least this way we can all have peace and quiet out in the shed. At first it was annoying to be out there with it, but thankfully dad brought some chairs after a while.”
I realised that I was staring at him eagerly as he talked. It seemed that James did as well as he looked away quickly and I sat back in my chair.
“So, yeah, that’s my story and I’ve realised that I was just rambling again.” James said with a shrug as he pulled his own worksheet towards him and began reading it. I had to admit that my stomach did a funny flip at hearing his words about how he had to show me the TV one day. Although I knew that it was just an off the cuff remark and he probably didn’t mean it, although I wished so much that he actually did.
“Have you got any ideas of what kind of programme we should do?” I asked James, giving a small cough and pushing my brown hair behind my ear as I looked at the worksheet as well. “After all, you’re the expert on this, not me. I have no clue whatsoever.”
“I’m not sure actually, I’m trying to think of what I’ve seen on it,” James stated, scratching the side of his head with the top of his quill.
“What are these –“ I looked down at the worksheet in front of me as I searched for the right word, “-programmes?”
“They’re kind of like plays that you would see in theatres,” he told me, he looked like he hoped that I knew what he was going on about.
I nodded eagerly as I knew what plays were, I had been to a few myself. “Oh, so it’s just lots of plays?”
“Yeah, that’s the general gist of what they are. I could have explained it a lot better, there’s more than plays on it, they show a lot of sports as well.”
“They don’t show Quidditch unfortunately. Which makes me and the rest of my family sad, especially Victoire. If they can find a way to work it so that Quidditch matches could be shown, a lot of wizards would have TVs. They should probably work out a way to have magic around TVs first... but still.”
I nodded along with him as Professor Hargreaves called us all to attention again, so that he could explain more about the assignment. My brain started thinking about how I hoped they would solve the problem before James and I lived together in the future. I stopped suddenly at the thought that had run through my head, realising what I had just thought and how crazy that had sounded. I glanced towards James again, hoping that he hadn’t suddenly learnt Legilimency and was able to hear my crazy thoughts. I apparently had no control over them.
He looked at me and grinned before looking back at the teacher and chewing the end of his quill.
If he ever heard what I was thinking, he would run a mile.
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