The Sugar Quill
Author: Myfanwy  Story: Just a Glance  Chapter: Default
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Just a Glance

Just a Glance

By Myfanwy



You gave us some place to go

I never said thank you for that

I thought I might have one more chance

May angels lead you in…

On sleepless roads the sleepless go

May angels lead you in…

-Jimmy Eat World, Hear You Me




          The castle is quiet, the cheerful fires of the common rooms long since burnt out.  An unnatural silence falls as I step inside.  Immediately I can feel the hair-raising tingle of a place filled with magic.


The stairs are for once still as I climb, somehow finding my way through the twisted maze of halls.   I smile to myself as I think how many first years have been lost in these corridors…and how many times they have walked them.


The portrait is just as I imagined it, and the voice that issues from within is pleasantly accented: that of one who has asked the same question uncountable times.




“Sugar Quill,” I reply softly, keenly aware that my voice has broken the nearly trance-like stillness of the corridors.  Without a word the frame swings forward to allow me entrance.  I step inside, knowing how many would give anything to be in my position at the moment. 


I am standing inside the Gryffindor common room, which is furnished nearly all in a deep scarlet, accented with gold.  The chairs are soft and inviting, the tables large enough for most of Hermione’s books.  A roaring fire must have burned in the huge stone fireplace on the far wall, but has now faded to embers.  The coals cast an eerie glow on the scarlet and gold tapestries, which depict lions caught in mid-roar and portrayls of this very castle, that adorn the walls.  The overall effect is decidedly creepy, and I find myself shivering as I turn to the couch nearest to the fire.


There they lie, the three of them, the trio, the dream team, HHR…They are here.  I look carefully at them, one by one, taking in everything I can, simply enjoying seeing the three of them together and at peace.


Harry is slumped in between Ron and Hermione, his head tilted to the side, his glasses slipping down his face, and his scar hidden by his hair.  He looks somehow ordinary, like he should have been…just a normal kid going to school with his friends, without the weight of the world on his shoulders.  How peaceful he seems!  Yet, I know his waking hours and his dreams are plagued by fears and threats.  His life is not easy, but, looking at him, I know he can handle it. 


“Be strong, but not forever,” I whisper, hoping I won’t wake him, but he only turns, shifting his head to Hermione’s shoulder.


Hermione…asleep she seems far more innocent and careless, not worrying about Harry, or Ron, or the next test.  Her long hair has fallen out of what was once a tight bun to fall around her shoulders, framing a rather pretty face.  She will grow up to be beautiful, that I know, but she will not let that stand in the way of knowledge, I’m sure.  Her left hand rests on a book; Hogwarts: A History, the title reads, and I smile.  Perhaps that is what put the boys to sleep in the first place. 


“Always stand for your dreams,” I tell her, glancing at the large clock on the wall.  It is soon that I must leave, but before I do, I glance at Ron.


His brilliant red hair is messier than Harry’s at the moment, and I see that he still holds his quirky smile.  He will always be the jester of the three, a lighter note in times of trial, a light that refuses to be switched off.  I pray he will never lose that, come war or death.  He has slumped down on the couch, something Hermione would surely scold him for, were she awake, and his lanky form is in grave danger of hitting the floor in the near future.  Harry mumbles in his sleep, and reaches over to pull Ron up, neither of them fully waking, yet I shrink back into the shadows.  Morning is approaching, and it is time; I must leave.


“Have hope as long as magic lives, and trust not to shadow, but hold to light.”

The phrase, which I have waited so long to say, seems shallow, and insignificant, and I only pray that they will always have each other, come every new trial.


“Farewell,” I say softly, and turn, heading for the common room door.  Through the window I can see the grey sky of dawn quickly approaching.


Gliding quickly through the shadows, I nearly trip over a small form huddled against the wall.  Neville.  He sits hunched over, crying.  In his hand he holds a letter, and I can make out the words ‘St. Mungo’s’ on the signature.


“Neville?” I question softly, half hoping he will not hear me.  I am not supposed to interfere…


His head jerks up, and I can see that his face is tearstained, and his eyes red, as though he has cried for a long time.  Sad eyes dart through the darkness, trying to locate me.


“Who’s there?”


I step forward, only a trifle reluctant. 


“Just me,” I say.  I know it is a silly answer, yet he seems to accept it without question.  “Neville…” I hesitate.  What does one tell someone like him, one who has lost family and never made great friends? “It will get better, Neville, I promise.”


“I know it won’t,” he says softly.  “They’re gone, and nothing can change it.”


“But go on,” I say, unsure of what I am really doing; he just looks as though he needs to hear something.  “Neville, you have magic, no matter how poor your grades are, no matter how dark things seem, you can do magic, you have friends who care about you.  You just need to trust and hope.  Things will be better.”


Surprising myself more than him, I pull him into a hug, and he does not pull back.  When I release him, I see that the dawn has broken, spilling rays of brilliant light over the forest, sparkling on the lake.


“Look to the dawn,” I say, as much to Neville as to the Trio, who remain soundly asleep on the couch, their peace complete.


And I take my leave, with only one last glance back at the characters I love, never to return.  I have had my glance, and I must not meddle more.  I can do nothing for them…yet, perhaps Harry’s nightmares abate for a time, perhaps Hermione takes a break from studying, maybe Ron finds that he can joke again…and Neville, maybe tomorrow he answers a question correctly, or finds that his potion comes out right for once…Tomorrow, we shall see…





















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