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        A week later, Harry and Madame Pomfrey had figured out just how much electricity dampened his magic enough to sleep comfortably. He still wasn't sleeping more than about 5 hours a night, but it was a vast improvement and Harry was feeling much more like himself.

Madame Pomfrey had taught Ginny how to use the ETC machine, and she and Hermione were shutting the door to her room and pouring over the scrolls most afternoons. 

At first Harry had tried to join them, but Hermione was a much faster reader than he was, and Ginny understood far more healers jargon, so the girls spent more time trying to explain what they were talking about than making any progress. After two days, Harry gave up and resigned himself to being summoned periodically to practice a charm or have Ginny prod at him with her wand. 

They had already learnt a few meditation spells that helped Harry tremendously. He found that carefully centering and calming himself extended to his magic, and when he mentioned this to Trilby and Ellie, they suggested he try doing yoga. Harry was a bit skeptical, but Ellie insisted that he could take a class in town, and that he’d like it. She even offered to show him around town the next day.

Harry was still unsure about the class, but when he mentioned the idea of going into town at dinner, everyone seemed to jump at the chance to explore their new home.

“That’s a wonderful idea Harry.” Hermione said. “You know we’ve been here over three months, it’s about time we had a look around town. We’ve been getting everything from the city, but there’s probably lots here that could be useful, or even entertaining!” 

Everyone started chattering about things they wanted to see in town, Hermione was hoping for a bookstore, Ginny was hoping for a clothing store, the Grangers seemed excited at the prospect of a day out in the muggle world.

Mr. Granger, who had agreed to be the property foreman for Harry, began going over a list of things they needed to get to start up the property.

Everyone went to sleep rather early, excited for the prospect of a change in routine. 

 




 

The next day Harry was up early as usual, but unlike normal, he found he was already sharing the breakfast table with most of the Weasleys. At half-past nine, Ellie and Carl pulled into the home paddock, having brought their large ute. Between the ute, the Granger’s car, and the help of a few charms, they managed to squash everyone in for the ride to town, after Ellie explained that it would be too hard to explain any other form of transportation. 

After a rather long drive through the Australian countryside, they passed a sign announcing that they were entering Seymour, Victoria. They turned onto a picturesque main street and parked in front of a small, antique looking hotel. Carl nodded hello to the proprietor, who was leaning in the doorway.

The whole group began to wander down the street, with Ellie and Carl pointing things out. When they came across a small bookshop, Hermione insisted that they lat her browse the rows of crammed shelves, and after a while the rest of the party became restless. They all split up in search of different things, agreeing to meet back at the cars at lunchtime. 

Harry followed Ellie around a corner until they came upon a dance studio. “They have all sorts of classes here,” she explained, “the owner is kind of quirky, but she teaches a lot of different exercise and dance classes.”

Sure enough, after an introduction, and a few minutes of chatting, Harry left with a pamphlet of the classes offered by Patty, the owner. There was a yoga class the next day, and she had advised Harry to come give it a try before deciding if he wanted to sign up for a whole course. “Just wear something you can move easily in,” she said, waving them out the door.

After looking the studio over, Harry followed Ellie over to the supply store that sold all manner of farm equipment, where he found Mr. Granger and Carl in a heated debate about some kind of tractor. 

He listed for a while, before deciding he had no clue what they were discussing, and began searching the aisles himself. He stumbled across a section of books and magazines, and selected several in the hopes of figuring out more of the farm on his own. He returned to where the others had been, and spoke to Mr. Granger about getting things that the farm needed. They spoke to a salesman, who helped them order the things they needed, as well as set up a store account using the bank card that Harry had arranged through the Goblins, as the muggles seemed to prefer that method of payment for most things. 

By then is was nearly lunchtime, so they made their way back towards the hotel, meeting up with Mr and Mrs. Weasley on the way. They had had a lovely morning it seemed, with Mr Weasley having stumbled upon a lawn bowling club, watching in fascination until Mrs. Weasley dragged him away. 

Once everyone had reunited near the cars, they discussed the possibility of lunch. “There’s a restaurant in the hotel here,” Ellie pointed out, “but it’s a bit stuffy.”

After much discussion, they decided to visit a cafe that was at the other end of the street. The whole group wandered, chatting happily, to the little cafe and went inside asking for a table large enough for their group. 

“Sure thing, love, won’t be a mo’,” the hostess said. “I’ll just have Drake push some tables together out back and turn on the heaters, it’s such lovely weather... it feels like Spring is coming early this year!”

“New busboy Kate?” Ellie, who seemed to know everyone, asked in a joking tone.

“You know how hard it is to keep anyone excited about cleaning tables and running food long.” She replied, stepping over to the kitchen door and calling instructions to the busboy. “This one works hard though, even if he is a bit odd.”

“Well that’s all you need, right?” Ellie pointed out.

“You’re not wrong there!” Kate smiled, “so who is this mob you have with you anyhow?” 

“Cousins of mine, from England.” Ellie said. “They’re the ones who’ve taken over Drovers Haven.” 

“Well that’s exciting news isn’t it!” Kate exclaimed, “You lot think you can hack it, the rural life?”

“That’s what we’re hoping to find out!” Harry laughed.

“Come on back, and lets get you lot fed.” Kate said, taking them through the small restaurant, to a cobblestone patio behind the restaurant, where several tables had been moved together to accommodate them. 

They settled in, ordering meat pies, hot chips, and cold lemonades, after Kate insisting that hers were the best in town.

They had the patio to themselves, and were chatting pleasantly about their day, when a crash rang out on the patio as the busboy dropped a tray that had previously held their lemonades. 

They all turned towards the commotion and froze, no one moving until George muttered, “no bloody way.” 

Because standing in the doorway, wearing an apron that was now covered with lemonade, was Draco Malfoy.

 

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