‘What’s that plant on your door, Hermione?’ Ron asked his wife uncertainly.
‘It’s a holly reef, Ron,’ Hermione sighed. ‘It’s a Muggle Christmas decoration, now come on, let’s get inside, it’s freezing.’
As Ron rolled his eyes, Hermione stepped inside the Granger’s home, Ron following behind, looking around the hallway curiously.
‘We’re home!’ Hermione shouted, removing her coat.
Soon Ron was being pulled into a hug by Mr and Mrs Granger and dragged into the living room, only to see a tree covered with sparkly things and flashing lights and more sparkly things draped over the walls. His eyes hurt as he looked around the room at all the glitter.
‘Hermione,’ he whispered to his wife, who was gazing at the Christmas tree and congratulating her father on what a wonderful job he had done on it. She turned to Ron. ‘Why do you have a tree in your house?’ he asked, staring at the brightly decorated tree which took up almost an entire side of the room. Hermione laughed.
‘It’s a Christmas tree, Ron! Muggles get fake trees and bring them inside for Christmas, and we put tinsel and baubles and all sorts of things on them for decoration.’
Ron shook his head. ‘What is it with Muggles and plants at Christmastime,’ he muttered.
‘Oh don’t be such a Scrooge,’ Hermione said.
‘A what?’ said Ron.
After watching a very well-spoken old lady with neat, grey hair and golden crown talk on the television for half an hour (Ron didn’t even try to understand this Christmas tradition) Ron was soon sat down at the dinner table, which was covered in the Granger’s best table-wear and red and green crackers. Ron was glad to finally see something familiar, and picked up the cracker with enthusiasm.
‘Come on,’ he said eagerly to Hermione who tugged on the other end of the cracker. But compared to the extravagant wizard crackers, these Muggle versions were extremely disappointing to Ron, who expected to have to pull with all his might for the cracker to pop, and fell off his chair with the force of his pull.
Ron appeared back at the table, red faced and grumpy, moodily accepting a bright pink, paper hat from Hermione, who paced it on his head only to receive a stony glare from Ron.
Ron tucked in to the food, gathering up as many Brussels sprouts, chicken legs, carrots, mashed potatoes and turkey as he could and stuffing it all in his mouth.
‘So, Ronald,’ Mr Granger said, still laughing heartily at a joke Mrs Granger had just read him from a cracker, ‘how different is our Christmas from your usual celebrations?’
Ron tried to speak but instead sprayed gravy and turkey over Mr Granger. With an enormous swallow that left him quite dry in the throat, he answered Mr Granger.
‘Oh, er,’ he stammered. He wasn’t sure how to answer. ‘Well, quite similar, I suppose. We don’t have plants in our houses or watch old people talk to us on the television, but other than that it’s the same.’
Ron gulped as his reply was followed by silence from the Granger family, and felt that it was going to be a very long night.