PART III: MR. WEASLEY
GOES TO THE DENTIST
Mr. Weasley and Ron were to travel by
Floo Powder to the Grangers at 11:00, Sunday morning. Ron, under the watchful
eye of his mother, packed his Hogwarts trunk the night before. After breakfast,
he climbed the stairs to retrieve his trunk. To his surprise, something
soft and dark blue was lying on top of the trunk. There was a note attached
Dearest Ickle Ronniekins,
We thought that you might appreciate new
dress robes. Your others were horrid and no girl would want to kiss you
while wearing them. Plus, they probably don’t fit anymore, you clumsy
giant. Don’t tell Mum, she doesn’t know we’ve been selling Weasley Wheezes
Your older and wiser brothers, Fred and George
Ron held the dress robes up to get a better
look. They were velvet and dark blue and there was no sign of lace on
them anywhere. Ignoring the part of the note about the kiss, Ron opened
his trunk, reached in the bottom for the old, maroon dress robes, threw
them on the ground and stomped on them very hard, and then carefully folded
the new ones and placed them at the top of his trunk. Ron was extremely
Downstairs, Arthur Weasley was standing
by the fireplace waiting for Ron, looking very pleased with himself in
a pair of plaid trousers and a striped Rugby shirt. Ginny handed a small
package and a letter to Ron for Hermione. Mrs. Weasley hugged Ron tightly
and told him to behave like a gentleman, at which point Fred and George
snickered and gave Ron the thumbs up. Luckily, as he stepped into the
fire, no one could see Ron blushing.
Arriving at the Grangers via Floo Powder
was much easier than arriving at the Dursleys. The year before, Ron and
his father, along with Fred and George had arranged to pick up Harry from
Privet Drive. Unfortunately, the Dursleys owned an electric fireplace
and the Weasleys had made quite a mess attempting to come down a closed
fireplace. The Grangers had started a generous fire, although the day
was warm. Ron and his father scrambled out of the fireplace, dragging
Ron’s trunk behind them. Hermione had obviously warned her parents about
Floo Powder, because the floor around the fireplace was covered with a
large purple blanket to collect all of the soot.
Ron jumped and blinked when he saw Hermione
standing at the border of the purple rug. She smiled at him nervously
and waited for him to speak. Although they had just seen each other eight
weeks earlier, those two months seem to have had a profound difference
on Hermione’s appearance. Her bushy hair was pulled into a braid that
hung down her back. She was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, something
that was quite a sight to a boy who had grown up in a wizarding family.
Ron felt his heart beating rapidly and tried to command it to stop, ‘stupid
Gred and Forge,’ he thought, ‘trying to get me all worked up over nothing.
It’s just Hermione after all.’ Finally, Ron cleared his throat, pretended
to rub soot of his eye, and murmered "’lo Hermione. Thanks loads
for the invitation. Er, this is from Ginny" he added, handing her
the small package.
Hermione appeared to have recovered from
her initial shyness and greeted him back, reaching forward to take the
package from his hands. As she did so, their fingers touched briefly.
Quickly she jerked the package towards her and busied herself opening
it, while Ron stared at her amazed. What had just happened? He hadn’t
meant to do that at all. She had jerked her hand away rather quickly,
but maybe she was just excited about Ginny’s present, which appeared to
be a magazine and some sort of girly make-up. He rubbed his hand, which
was still tingling slightly.
Mrs. Granger ushered them all into the
kitchen for a cup of tea. Ron started glancing around the house, which
was very clean, but filled with books on almost every wall. No wonder
Hermione was so smart. Ron imagined that having this many books around
must make a person intelligent by default.
"Well, Ted," Mr. Weasley was
saying in the kitchen, "I don’t suppose that you would like to show
me your dentist’s office? I mean, I think it would be very educational
for Ron and I to see how that machinery operates. We haven’t had any calls
for enchanted dentistry equipment in the department, but I’d like to know
what it does in case of an emergency."
"Perhaps you can clean their teeth
the Muggle way!" exclaimed Hermione, smiling a bit and glancing at
Ron with laughter in her eyes.
"Excellent idea Hermione!" replied
Mr. Weasley, "of course, we wouldn’t want to inconvenience
your dear parents."
"Oh its no trouble at all, Arthur,"
enthused Mrs.Granger, "our office is actually in that small building
to the right of the house. It won’t take long and I’d love to see what
you think of it."
The lot of them trooped out to the Grangers’
dental office after they finished their tea. Ron admitted that all of
these Muggle gadgets were quite fascinating. The main room contained a
large, reclining chair. Above the chair was a rather ugly looking light
attached to a strange type of cabinet. Ron observed what appeared to be
instruments of torture lying on a table near the chair. He moved closer
to Hermione and whispered "No wonder you wanted to shrink your teeth
magically, this looks awful."
"Well, there is actually no way for
Muggles to shrink teeth at all," explained Hermione, obviously happy
to play teacher. "They can move teeth around a bit, or add to one
that is broken, but it’s impossible to shrink them. My parents never seemed
to understand that, which is why I suppose I am actually indebted to Malfoy
for being so obnoxious." Hermione gave a large smile, which showed
her relatively new, straight, perfect teeth. Madam Pomfrey, the school
nurse, had shrunk them the year before after a misguided curse had caused
them to grow down to Hermione’s collar. Ron thought she looked rather
pretty and had the urge to tell her so, but stopped himself.
"So, all of this runs on eccletricity?"
Mr. Weasley was saying knowledgeably to the Grangers. "Fascinating.
I just sit down in this chair then? All right." Mr. Weasley sat in
the chair and opened his eyes widely as Mr. Granger sat next to him and
made the chair lie back a little further. "Ohhhh! Amazing
what Muggles can do without magic."
"Now, Arthur, we’ll just clean your
teeth, it’s painless and fairly quick," said Mr.Granger as he snapped
on the overhead light. Mr. Weasley blinked in surprise at the intensity
of it. "Would you like to watch?" asked Mrs. Granger, handing
Mr. Weasley a hand mirror. Ron thought his father looked absolutely ridiculous
and made up his mind not to get his own teeth cleaned.
Mr. Granger flipped another switch and
a huge sucking noise came from one of the gadgets on the cabinet. He picked
up the tube and said to Mr. Weasley, "Just open up your mouth for
us, this will help suck up the extra saliva so that we can clean the teeth
more efficiently." Mr. Weasley opened his mouth, allowed Mr. Granger
to hook the tube onto his mouth, and gave Ron the thumbs up with his other
hand. Ron shook his head and Hermione snorted, trying not to appear rude
by laughing outright at Mr. Weasley.
Then Mr. Granger picked up a small metal
tool that looked very sharp, and a miniature mirror. Ron watched in horror
as Mr. Granger proceeded to scrape at his father’s teeth with the metal
tool. Mr. Weasley was trying to ask Mr. Granger questions, but he could
barely talk with his mouth full like that. Mrs. Granger was offering Mr.Weasley
a blow by blow account of what was going on, "Now, Arthur, Ted is
scraping plaque off of your teeth. Plaque is very bad and contributes
to tooth decay. It’s important to get your teeth cleaned like this every
six months or so…"
"Or do a plaque-repellant charm once
in your life," Ron joked to Hermione, who was now facing the wall
in a fit of laughter, unable to watch Mr. Weasley anymore.
"Wonderful! Your teeth are in very
good shape Arthur!" pronounced Mr. Weasley, reaching for another
tool, which started to make a loud whizzing noise. "No cavities as
far as I can tell. Now, we’ll just polish your teeth up and then you’ll
be all done! This polish is bubble-gum flavored!" Mr. Weasley’s eyes
widened at the sight of a quickly rotating nub heading towards his mouth.
Finally, Mr. Granger finished and turned off the tooth-polishing machine,
and removed the tube from Mr. Weasley’s mouth. "Rinse!" he announced,
handing Mr. Weasley a cup filled with water.
Mr. Weasley stood up unsteadily. "That.
Was. Truly. Interesting. Amazing what Muggles have to do in order
to maintain dental hygiene. Hmmmm. This has been quite informative. Ronald?
Would you like a go?" Mr. Weasley looked somewhat green and unsure
of himself. Ron just shook his head and backed out of the room, followed
by Hermione who could not stop laughing.
Mrs. Granger handed Mr. Weasley a purple
toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste as a souvenir and they all headed
back to the house.