speaker wires

Like a river

“So those little metal circles spin around with a motor, and a beam of light reads them and plays music? That’s awesome.”

“Isn’t it? Muggles are coming up with the neatest things these days. Although,” Hermione huffed just a little as she slung the knapsack of CDs off her shoulder, “this technology is pretty heavy. I don’t even know what Mum put in here, she just seemed to grab handfuls and shove them in. I’m a bit out of the loop on muggle music so I told her anything was fine.”

Ron spread out a blanket and unpacked his knapsack’s contents of food and drinks while she connected the Discman to portable speakers with a tiny wire. The porch light from the Grangers’ home was dim from the crest of the park’s highest hill.

“Ok, I’ve heard of some of these… Celine Dion, Elton John, Boyzone, Garth Brooks? That’s not mum’s usual style.”

“He’s got his face painted like a Quidditch supporter. Let’s give him a go.”

Rollicking music issued from the speakers as Ron and Hermione nibbled and sipped, gradually scooting closer to one another until they were side by side. Hermione tucked herself under Ron’s arm and leaned back a bit.

“You know, all those nights out in nature, and I never really looked up at the stars. I OWLed in astronomy, of course, but that was more where planets and stars are in relation to each other. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten all the constellations and their stories.”

Ron looked down, a bit dumbstruck.

“Something has escaped that steel trap of a mind? I can’t believe it.”

“You spent more time on it in Divination, which I blew off. Do you know them?”

Ron smoothed Hermione’s hair away from his face and gently tucked it between her head and his shoulder. He shifted his shoulders to cradle her head more securely against himself and leaned the both of them back.

“So if we begin with the moon as our central point of reference, note that it’s currently waxing gibbous. We’ll use its tips to help us navigate to constellations. Over to the east from the northernmost tip…”

Ron went on to detail constellations, clusters, and planets, elaborating on particularly significant arrangements as he recalled. The couple gradually laid down on the blanket, Hermione curled into his shoulder all the while. As he went on, a quiet song came on, so he lowered his voice a bit.

“… Then continuing north along that line, there’s the constellation Coma Berenices. It gets its name from the story of an Egyptian queen who cut off her golden locks to pay off on a deal she made with the goddess of love to keep her husband safe during wartime. The goddess was so pleased that the hair was taken up to heaven as a cluster of stars*. I’d have done the same for you, you know, if I could.”

Expecting a bit of a snog for that romantic overture, Ron instead got a small snore as Hermione snuggled against him in her sleep.

“Well, I suppose that’s fine, too. Kind of nice, I’ll keep chatting to keep you asleep for a bit. You’re still sporting huge dark circles. Let me tell you about Orion over here. Fine bloke, and a magnificent todger there below his belt if you follow those couple stars. Fred and George pointed that one out to me years ago, I didn’t learn that at school. I figure Fred would love it if I passed that knowledge on to you. Well. Anyway, continuing north…”