The Sugar Quill
Author: birgit (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Artists and Scientists  Chapter: Chapter 1: Artists and Scientists
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: This story contains elements created by J.K. Rowling. I'm not making any money of it. I'm just having fun in the world she created.

Author's Note: Many thanks to my wonderful beta reader Arianrhod. Special thanks to Porlock, who created a plot bunny that is incorporated in this story.

Artists and Scientists

Chapter One – Artists and Scientists


Mark Evans stared at the sheet of paper in front of him. He just didn’t see what was fun about maths. It was the thing his mother did all day, as she worked as a mathematician, but Mark clearly hadn’t inherited the talent. That was because she was a Scientist, and he was an Artist.

“Mark?”

His teacher was standing next to his desk, smiling.

“You didn’t solve much of this,” she said, pointing at the sheet. “You’re finding it difficult, aren’t you?”

“I just can’t do it,” Mark said angrily. “I’m an Artist!”

“You’re an artist? Would you like to do some drawing then?”

Before Mark could explain that an Artist didn’t draw, there was a large, empty sheet of paper in front of him. Reluctantly, he took his pencil and sketched a few lines. But it didn’t look right, he wasn’t very good at drawing. He closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. A vision appeared behind his eyelids. It was a large house, looking quite usual. But on the top of the roof, there was a statue of a dragon. It was a beautiful statue, the dragon looking almost alive.

Fascinated, Mark kept his eyes shut tightly. He wanted to look at the house as long as possible. Seeing this house always gave him a familiar feeling. Somehow he was connected to the house, and to the dragon.

“Mark?” asked a scared voice.

Mark started, and opened his eyes. For a fleeting moment, he saw his pencil standing upright on his sheet, then there was a clattering sound as the pencil fell down on the desk. On the sheet, a picture was drawn. It was a house, with a statue of a dragon on the roof. It looked like the pencil had drawn by itself.

“Mark, are you all right?” Mark's teacher was bending over him, looking both frightened and anxious.

“Yes, Miss,” he replied.

But his teacher didn’t go away. She dragged another chair to his desk and sat down, observing him closely. She didn’t say anything, but Mark knew why she was looking at him like this. She had never seen a pencil working for itself. She was a Scientist.

Mark glanced around the class. His classmates were all working quietly. No one seemed to have witnessed the pencil draw by itself, except his teacher.

“It’s because I’m an Artist,” he blurted out.

She smiled. “Yes, I see you can draw very well. But usually, artists don’t – don’t do it like this.”

“Look, there are two kinds of people in the world: Artists and Scientists,” Mark tried to explain. “Scientists invent and build things to make their world more comfortable, Artists just use nature to do that.”

He could see in her eyes that she didn’t understand, but she nodded nonetheless.

“You just finish your drawing now, Mark,” she said, “it’s almost time to go home.”

During the next ten minutes Mark pretended to add some more lines to his picture, but he didn’t touch the sheet. He couldn’t draw like a Scientist, and he didn’t dare to draw like an Artist again.

***

After school, Mark slowly walked home. When he crossed Privet Drive, he was almost bowled over by a large car. He recognised the car at once as Mr. Dursley’s. It was easily the largest car in the whole neighbourhood, and also the most gleaming one. Mr. Dursley washed it every day, or made his nephew Harry Potter do it.

As the car parked in front of number four, Privet Drive, Mark slowed his walk and tried to look unobtrusively at what happened next. Dudley, the fat son of the Dursleys, got out before the car had even stopped properly. Then Mr. and Mrs. Dursley appeared, looking grim. The last person to get out was Harry Potter. Apparently he had just come back from the school he attended during the year. The rumours said he went to St. Brutus Security Centre, but Mark didn’t believe that. Harry was always friendly, and often kept to himself. Dudley, on the other hand, always spent his summer holidays bullying all the kids in the neighbourhood with his own little gang. But he didn’t go to St. Brutus, he attended Smeltings.

Harry now dragged his large trunk to the front door, the cage with his beautiful snowy owl in his other hand. Just before he went into the house, he turned and looked straight at Mark. Mark stood transfixed. Harry never looked happy whenever he entered the house of his aunt and uncle, especially not the first time after the end of term, but now his eyes were haunted like they had never been before. Somehow, Mark felt something terrible had happened. Something terrible concerning the Artists. Because Harry Potter was an Artist too.


To be continued...

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