Chapter 5 : Concept and Design
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Chapter 5: Concept and Design
George sat on the counter in the kitchen. It had been a week since he received the lantern, and never once did the flame waver. George tried blowing out, submerging it in water, and even dropped a Granger Ring in it. While the powder did prevail, he noticed that the flame was the first thing to come into view not long after the powder took over.
He paid his competitor’s shop a visit the next day. Mary greeted him as he entered. Asking if he received his gift. George confirmed in a huff. Mary escorted him over to the new products to explain it in further detail. He was offered a free bag of ice, reminding him that he was more than welcome to any of the shops commodities. George stood there with two now frozen hands as he stared at the display that rivaled his own.
“Bloody git,” he mumbled under his breath as he watched Mary and the other boy returned to hanging small white Christmas light along the perimeter of the store and wrapping them around the various columns.
He had left the shop without a word, and was now glaring at the two items in front of him. He was hoping that the proximity to the flame would surely over power the frozen water cube sitting on the table.
“Keep glaring at it any harder mate, and you just might melt it.” Ron mumbled over one of his manuals.
The glare was redirected in an instant.
“I just don’t get it. Why give me the stuff for free? I’d be damned if I gave all my secrets away to a competitor.” George said as he rested his chin on his hand.
“So you’ve figured out the charms?” a voice came from the entryway of the kitchen.
George looked up as he saw Hermione make her way across the kitchen to the kettle. She lifted it off the stove and made her way to the sink. Before she began to fill it she tipped it towards George and Ron to silently ask if they wanted a cup. Both waved her off.
“To answer your first question Granger, no I haven’t. But the thought has crossed my mind.” George explained as he watched her fill the kettle and light the pilot on the stove with a flick of her wrist.
“So then why don’t you?” she asked as she brought the teapot over to boil.
George sighed. “If you didn’t notice Granger, I’ve been busy as of late, especially now that I have to make hundreds of duplicates of your rings for the past week.”
“Ring? What ring?” Ron asked as he glanced from his brother to his best friend.
“Oh Ronald, it’s just one of George’s new products.” Hermione assured as she scoured the cabinets for the right tea leaves. “He made me try one out last week in his shop, so naturally everyone wants a piece of something that one of the members of the ‘Golden Trio’ wore.” She laughed as she tried to reach the leaves on the top shelf.
George looked to Ron, who had turned back to his place in his manual. Shaking his head, he jumped off the counter to help Hermione reach the small box. He didn’t ask for details, he knew something happened during the battle, because the following days after, the two couldn’t be separated. But then things went back to normal, he annoyed her, she bickered. It was just the way they were. He couldn’t say exactly when things fell apart, but if he had to pinpoint it, he would say as soon as Hermione was on the train back to school, they decided to go their own way in the romance department. He had seen Ron go out a few times with a girl he trained with, and Hermione seemed ok about it. At least she didn’t act the way she did when Ron was seeing the Lavender girl. He didn’t question it.
“For a witch who can access magic from her fingertips, one would think you could get that.” He teased as he reached over her.
“I’m stubborn about being short, thank you,” she added as he handed her the box, “and besides, not everything has to be done using magic.”
George let out a small laugh through his nose as he shook his head at her and walked back to the table. He leaned over the two offending objects with an arm on either side of them, hoping an answer would come to him from a different vantage point.
‘Fire and ice….hot and cold…always burns and always cools…’he thought as he heard the kettle start to whistle.
“I wonder…” he thought out loud.
“Oh this should be good.” Ron said as he watched his brother.
Hermione continued to make her tea, as she added the milk, George turned to her.
“Granger, your quite skilled with charms, are you not?” he asked as she stirred her tea.
“I’m above average, I’m more adapt at Arithmancy above all other subjects, why?” she answered.
“If I were to, hypothetically, place this piece of ice into this flame, what do you think would happen?” he posed as he left the ice slide around his palm.
“Nothing.” Ron chimed in. “That can’t melt, and that can’t go out.” He said as he pointed at the objects at hand.
“Not necessarily Ron. Both items are charmed to do something. The ice gives off energy in order to cool something down, and the fire give off light as its energy source, so to combine the two, the energy has to go somewhere, it just depends on which item is more dominated.” She theorized as she walked closer to the table. She glanced at George, “In this case, I think you’re more likely to damage your mother’s kitchen than just the products.”
She took a sip of her tea and decided a little sugar couldn’t hurt and turned back to the counter.
“In all the years I’ve known her, she hardly ever been wrong.” Ron whispered, “Is it really worth having mum’s favorite part of the house blown to bits. What’s that saying? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you?”
“You’re right. You’re both right.” George acknowledged as Hermione walked back over to the table, sugary tea in hand. “It’s a terrible, horrible, incredibly foolish idea…Let’s do it anyways and see what happens!” He proclaimed as he dropped the ice cube into the lantern before the two other occupants of the room could protest.
There was a burst of blinding white light throughout the entire first floor of the burrow. The sound of a crashing tea cup and the glass rattling in their window panes. The three residents were pushed by a cool wind that forced them back a few steps as they shielded their eyes. And then it was gone.
George had backed himself up against the counter he previously sat upon earlier using his elbow to block the light. Ron had his chair pushed back and used his book to block his face from any shrapnel that might have gone flying. Hermione’s hair had been blown out of place and the bottom of her pants were now saturated in tea.
“That’s the second time you’ve made me break a cup.” She glared at George as she extracted her wand, too tired to do it by hand or wandless. The shards of glass were repaired, the tea vanished and her pant bottoms cleaned as Ron and George assessed the damage.
The kitchen itself was fine. A few rattled dishes and a few knickknacks out of place. But overall not a big gaping hole in the side of the house as Hermione had predicted. Instead there was a large ice sculpture in the place where the lantern once stood. It looked like an over sized icicle. The deadly looking kind that hang off the sides of the burrow by Ron’s bedroom window. Except this icicle burned the white hot light the small flame once gave off.
The three of them stood around and inspected the sculpture for a few before either of them spoke. Hermione, suddenly gathering up the courage to do what neither of the boys could, she reached out a hand to touch the ice. But before she could fully connect with it, George grabbed her wrist. Afraid of what it could do. Hermione was about to protest when she felt it.
“It’s giving off heat.” She spread her captured fingers as if to collect the warmth provided by the ice.
George let go of her hand to mimic her movements.
“Well, I’ll be damned.” He said in astonishment. “Heated ice.”
Ron and Hermione looked to each other as George started to move toward the oven. He grabbed his mother’s oven pink frilly oven mitts. He always hated these retched things, they reminded him of the robes Umbridge used to wear, but he would deal with them for now. He walked back over to the table to pick up the ice. As he did the two others in the room could see the wheels turning in his head. They could barely make out the words “Christmas” and “Heat source” as he went out the back door and apparated away.
“Mum’s gonna be pissed when she sees the burn mark on the table.” Ron said as he pointed at the round black mark on the wood surface.
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