Everything In Its Right Place

Chapter 4

Christmas had come and gone, and Hermione had spent the holiday with her parents. On Boxing Day, she had visited the Burrow, and spent time with Harry, Ginny, and her godson, James. Now it was Sunday afternoon, and Hermione looked forward to spending it in solitude, reading.

A knock at the door was unexpected and somewhat unwanted. She assumed it was her mother who occasionally liked to pop in, but when she opened the door and found the pale face of Draco Malfoy on the other side, she was at a loss.

"Granger," he said, by way of greeting.

"Malfoy," she said, mimicking his tone, "Do you…Would you like to come in?"

He came in, and stood still in the middle of her living room. He seemed to be surveying the place. Hermione wanted to question his appearance, but thought she'd let him speak first.

"I came to…apologize…for my less than gracious behavior at MgGonagall's party and the morning after." His back was to her, and she was somewhat amused that he had bothered coming all this way when an owl would have sufficed. Or that he even bothered apologizing at all.

"No worries," she said. He did not acknowledge that he spoke, but continued surveying the wall.

"Why are there little holes in the wall?" He spun around, looking really quite peeved.

"They're electrical outlets. You plug electrical devices in them."

"I don't know what that means!" He seemed angry.

"Well," she said, thoughtfully, "Muggles don't get their light from candles, they get it through electricity. Look here." She went to the lamp on the table by her couch, and turned it on. "See? It's plugged into the wall."

"But where does it come from?" He seemed less angry and genuinely curious now.

"Look out of the window." She walked towards the dining area, and pulled back the curtain from the window. "See those lines, those wires, stretched out everywhere? The electricity runs through them, and is wired through the house. "

"And where does the electricity in those wires come from?"

She gave him a brief overview of fossil fuels and turbines. "What else, besides the lights?"

She turned on the television to show him. "All sorts of things. The refrigerator, that keeps food cold, keeps it fresh. Clocks. Washing machines – those clean your clothes. Dishwashers – those clean, well, your dishes, obviously."

"I thought Muggles did everything by hand," he said.

"No, not really. Muggles go to great lengths to make things easy."

He tilted his head slightly, and a small line appeared between his eyes. He was eyeing the television with apparent interest.

"This is television. You can get news and weather information there. It has 'shows' which are a bit like plays, I suppose. There are thousands of different shows. …would you like to watch? You can sit down, you know."

Draco walked to her couch and sat down. Hermione was inwardly quite amused at Draco Malfoy watching television like any Muggle, but thought it best not to comment. She sat at the opposite end of the couch, and they watched the news together.

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