Persons attempting to find
moral in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to
a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in
will be shot.--Mark Twain
It was the week after
but before New Year's; the needles from the gracious fir were
brown and sticking to the carpet; the new books had been read, the
clothes worn, and the new toys played with; and Lily Evans was
She'd been gone for
for barely two weeks, but she already missed the stately castle with
solid walls; missed using magic; and, most of all, missed her
It seemed that every year Lily spent at Hogwarts, she grew farther
farther apart from the Muggle world. And now, she was fifteen years
alone in the week after the holidays, with only her sister to keep
company; her activities limited to staring out the window at the
snow, sighing, and counting down the days until she returned to
And then the doorbell
Her sister flew to answer it. Petunia was
tall, blonde, horse-faced girl, who derived two pleasures from life:
Lily and mooning over her boyfriend, Vernon. Perhaps she thought
the latter would be standing at the door, but he obviously was not,
she slammed it closed and backed against the doorknob.
"Salesman?" Lily asked
"No." Petunia shuddered. "Some of your
Detestable-looking boy who needs a haircut, girl with a load of
Lily sprang up and ran to the window.
Potter, Sirius Black, and her best friend Juliet Sinistra stood
waving frantically. "Wait!" she yelled. "Mum? Mum! May I go out for
while? Some of my friends are here!"
Mrs. Evans appeared at the top of the
smiling. "Go on, then, dear, have a good time." Her relief was plain
her face -- during the holiday, she'd often voiced concerns that
was becoming "mopey" and "moody." "Call if you need a ride home.
you know what to do – stick with your friends, don't go anywhere by
and don't talk to any…"
"I know, Mum! Bye!" Lily grabbed her coat
Gryffindor scarf and rushed out the door. Excited greetings were
Juliet pulled her into a quick hug and James Potter grabbed her
and twirled her into a dance.
"Oh, James, not in the middle of the
– what will the Muggles think, after all?" she protested, laughing.
stopped his spinning but didn't drop her hand, and they walked down
street together. The four talked excitedly about their respective
for a few minutes, and, as they turned the corner into a street
with after-Christmas shoppers, Lily asked hesitantly, "Might I
where we’re going?"
Sirius bowed deeply and elaborately. "We,
Evans, have taken the liberty of rescuing you from Muggle-land –"
laughed "--and therefore have no idea what to do next."
"We could go to Diagon Alley," Juliet
"Florean Fortescue's has a nice new peppermint ice-cream sundae –
"No money. Anyway, it's too cold for ice
Lily shivered in the brisk December wind.
"There's supposed to be a great Quidditch
over in Leatherhead --" James suggested tentatively.
"No Quidditch today, please, boys,"
said firmly. "Anyway, I don't know where the nearest Portkey is, and
too far to walk."
The four friends stood despondently in
street, watching people walk by with giant shopping bags. "What we
Sirius said, "is something close, fun, and cheap."
No one spoke for a second. "Diagon
Juliet suggested tentatively.
"No fun without enough money to even buy
"Boys, honestly." Juliet grinned. "Um...
suppose we could go to someone's house and play Exploding Snap or
No one volunteered. "Or the Animagi are doing a concert pretty close
"I don't like the Animagi," Sirius
"Fine, then. You quit raining on our
and come up with a better idea!" Juliet snapped.
"I have a better idea, Miss Acid
Juliet glared at him, a clear challenge.
"We could go ice-skating." No one
and Sirius grinned. "Told you it was a good idea."
"I love skating," Lily confessed. "But I
been since I started at Hogwarts."
"If you're Muggle-born, you've never
skated. We learned all about it in Muggle Studies, how your skates
fit and they twist your ankles, and how the blades are dull and the
gets all scratched and they have to Zambezi it or whatever... No,
never really skated."
Lily smiled wryly. She did like to skate,
really did -- but Sirius's description matched her experiences a
to closely for comfort. "Well, then, she said, "lead the way, Mr.
She offered him her hand with an assumed air of mid-Victorian
"With pleasure, Miss Evans." Sirius took
proffered hand and they minced down the street together. James and
raced behind in a mock chase, the former yelling, "Unhand my
Sirius turned left, then right, then left
and finally tapped a light post with his wand. Beneath it was a
well-lit passage, which in turn gave way to a sunny street. "Icy
Skating Rink," Lily read. "Slippery Twenty-Four Hours Per Day." They
At the desk, a grumpy-looking wizard
their shoes and said "Renovo modius!" Lily gaped as her heavy
gave way to graceful, well-fitting skates. A sign read, "Guaranteed
Fit! Blades Bewitched with an Anti-Scratching Charm! Have Fun, Or
Know Why Not!" As they walked through the silver doors onto the rink
Lily felt blinded by the sun reflecting off the crystal-clear,
"It's charmed to repel scratching," James
as he tottered onto the ice. "Come on, Lily!"
She tottered onto the ice and nearly
James steadied her quickly, and she soon remembered how one moved
feet while skating. Sirius, to no one's surprise, turned out to be
astonishingly graceful skater. His red-and-gold scarf whirled about
head as he executed perfect turns and jumps. Juliet was almost as
and they performed a graceful dance together, skating backwards and
quickly about the rink.
James and Lily watched in awe, but then
grabbed her hands and they, too flew about the rink, skating in
unison until he tried to pull Lily backwards. They ended up sliding
over the ice, Lily clutching him in a desperate attempt not to fall,
finally, lying on their backs, both of them gasping for breath in
gales of laughter.
"I -- vote -- we -- take --a -- break,"
choked, attempting to sit up and sliding.
"Motion -- seconded." James struggled to
feet and pulled her up as well. "Coming, you two?"
"Sure." Juliet skated swiftly off and
shortly with a large box of sweets. "You all owe me ten Knuts."
and Sirius were already engaged in a violent argument about whether
Appleby Arrows could possibly beat both the Wigtown Wanderers and
Ballycastle Bats to win the League.
"Do you two ever think about anything
Quidditch?" asked Juliet, exasperated, as she bit into a Chocolate
"Oh, it's Ichabod the Irreverent, I've got about fifty of him."
"No," Lily replied with a melodramatic
"They live and breathe that game. I don't believe they can hold a
discussion without it."
"Can too," James retorted.
"Bet you can't go the rest of the
without mentioning it once!" Lily challenged.
"We can, and I'll prove it. Loser treats
to Butterbeer," Sirius declared, then hesitated. "James, why don't
James was at a loss for words, and the
exchanged triumphant glances. He hurriedly glanced at Juliet's
and said, "Did you ever notice how people are like
"Can't say as I have," Lily admitted,
a piece of hair out of her eyes and putting her arm around James.
"Well," James began, sucking a sugar
meditatively, "Sirius is like an Exploding Bonbon."
"Can't argue that," Lily said with a
"Juliet's like an Acid Pop -- she looks
but she could burn a hole in you like that." James snapped his
"Snape is like a Cockroach Cluster, or maybe a Blood Lollipop -- I
decide." Everyone laughed. "Professor McGonagall is a Licorice Wand.
don't know why, she just is. And Lily, you're like... a sugar
She looked at him questioningly, and he
on. "I mean, you're sweet, and you're sharp -- and you tickle!" For
had brushed his neck with her fingertips, not entirely accidentally.
you look like you're really fragile, but I don't think you'd shatter
James snapped the nib off his quill and began sucking on it. "Come
let's go back on the ice." He took her hand.
Once they were flying across the ice,
smiled at him. "And do you like sugar quills, James?"
"Why, I do indeed, Lily." James stopped,
her other hand in his, and looked down at her. "I like them very
He took a deep breath, leaned down, and kissed her.
The sugar from his sweets still on her
Lily kissed him back.
In the years that followed, she never
who won the bet, or whether James managed to teach her to skate
What Lily remembered was that, beside the serviceable eagle feathers
James's desk, there always nestled a sugar quill. She remembered
she developed a sudden fondness for the sweet when she returned to
And she remembered that kiss, their
The kiss that made her feel warm, even in the chill of the ice rink.
kiss that began everything.
A kiss sweet with the taste of a sugar
A/N: Inspired by Gryffindor Scarf Guy
the ice-skating rink. A nice little plot bunny that unfortunately
*after* I’d sent in my first submission.