The Sugar Quill
Author: Sunny Daylee  Story: Harry Potter and the Secret Ribbon  Chapter: Default
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Harry Potter and the Secret Ribbon

Disclaimer: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Dumbledore, and other characters mention in this story are characters from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I claim no rights to them. The following is a fan depiction of their lives, based on these books.



Harry Potter and the Secret Ribbon


Christmas morning dawned cold but clear. Harry Potter lay in his bed, blinking despite the thick crimson drapes surrounding him. Groaning, he pulled his red and gold Gryffindor scarf down from its hook and dropped it unceremoniously over his eyes. His down comforter had kept him toasty warm even after the fire had died. Just ten more minutes…or maybe a couple days, he thought.


To one side, he heard the soft but rattling snores of his best friend, Ron Weasley. The noise kept him awake, but he wasn’t upset by it. It felt comforting to hear his friend sleep. At least it was a vast improvement on waking up to Uncle Vernon’s snores that resembled a helicopter. Other than that, the room was silent. All other sixth year Gryffindor boys had gone home for holiday.


He lay in bed for a few more minutes before he sat up and reached for his glasses. At once the drapery came into focus, as well as the small pile of presents at the foot of his bed. Harry had no trouble spotting the gift from Mrs. Weasley. The packages varied in sizes and wrapping; some had cards and others didn’t. He pulled aside his drapes to catch a peek at Ron’s pile, but his friend was still snoring behind his curtains.


Usually, he waited until Ron was awake and they opened presents together, but he was too excited when he saw that there were quite a few more presents than the years before. Perhaps if he opened a smaller one, one he was sure wasn’t from Ron or Hermione, then his friend wouldn’t notice. Feeling as if in a dream, he dug his hands deep into the pile. He was surprised by many of the tags; Pour Harry Potter. Fleur Delacour. Another read; Our thanks. From Mr. & Mrs. Diggory. The last one was perhaps the most shocking. Keep ‘em running. Mad-eye Moody. The rest were from fellow classmates. He noted with apprehension a rather large parcel from Fred and George. And there were not a few people he had never heard of before. Finally, he decided on a small box with no tag and pulled the drapes shut.


The box looked to be the shape and size Muggles put bracelets in. There was no wrapping on the cream white box, only a delicate silver thread holding it closed. Careful not to break it, he pulled the thread from the box and then lifted the top half. Inside lay a dark crimson velvet jewelry box with silver clasp. Hoping it wasn’t jewelry, he undid the clasp and opened the lid. Lying in a pearly satin bed was something that looked like a silver ribbon, except that when he picked it up, it flowed like water over his fingers. When he held it close to his face, he discovered it smelled of grass, springtime, and snowballs.


He was so lost in the scent and feel of the ribbon he’d forgotten Ron in the bed next to him. When he heard Ron yawn loudly, he almost swallowed his tongue. Quickly, and as quietly as he could, he stuffed the ribbon in the box and shut it, stuffing it under his pillow. Not a second later, something solid and soft hit his drapes. “Oi! Harry, you awake?”


He tried to make it sound as if he’d just waken up, when in actuality he’d been awake an hour. After a few yawns and grumblings, he pulled apart the drapes. Ron, wearing lime green Quaffle-n-Goal jammies, had hair sticking up on one side of his head, creases on his cheek, and puffy eyes, which sparkled excitedly. Christmas was one of two days when he got anything new.


“Open that one first,” he urged, pointing to a flat, rectangular package, wrapped in light blue paper with snow blowing in the foreground. Eagerly, he ripped the paper (which made a sound like footsteps in snow) and found a framed photograph of a pretty blonde woman in red and white Quidditch robes smiling up at him and waving. Written in the top left corner Harry read; To Harry Potter. May your eye be sharp, your broom be swift, and your heart be true. Janelle Jouee.


“She was the keeper and captain of the French Quidditch team that won the World Cup five years ago,” Ron explained hurriedly, as Harry looked at the woman showing off her broom. “Dad was on business in her neighborhood last summer and asked if I wanted to come along. I asked if she could sign a picture for a friend, and she got a big blotch of ink on the first picture when I told her who my friend was.”


Harry was in awe. “Thanks Ron, this is bloody excellent!” He set aside the picture and the wrapping. “Open mine now.”


Ron grabbed for a shoebox wrapped in Muggle comics and stared at wonder at the stationary colored cartoons. Carefully he removed the tape and gingerly pealed off the paper, folding it when he was done. When he opened the lid of the shoebox, he was even more in awe than he had been with the comics. He brought out a beautiful, glistening pair of red keeper wrist guards made of dragon hide. He caressed them lovingly, having completely forgotten the comics sitting folded by his feet.


Harry continued opening presents as Ron stroked the tough dragon hide. The Dursleys sent him a box of used tooth-floss, which was all wadded into a knot. Mrs. Figg surprised him with one of her pumpkin pies. Hermione had given him a language filter complete with earphone (Complete translation while they speak. Reverse filter sold separately) and a translating window (Place on foreign document, and it translates right before your eyes!). Professor Lupin, who had been traveling for the last six months, sent him a book entitled Polka-dotted screens and plaid patterned fiends: Have fun with your counter curses! by Antithis Morbellium. Fleur and her sister had sent L’histoire Complete de la Coupe du Monde de Quidditch or The Complete World Cup Quidditch History, in French (“Thanks Hermione” Harry murmured). Mad-eye Moody had sent him a silver hip flask with his initials HJP engraved on it. The Diggorys had sent him Cedric’s lucky snitch pendant, which he had worn to all his games. Harry felt a pang of loss, but continued opening presents (by now, Ron had put the wrist guards away and started on his pile).


That afternoon, Ron and Harry pulled on their Weasley sweaters (“Finally,” Ron sighed. “She gives me orange instead of maroon!”) and Harry slipped into the soft, warm mismatching socks Dobby had made him this year (one yellow with black beater clubs, the other black with silver lightning bolts), and the two went out to play in the snow.


The air outside smelled clean. Hagrid’s hut, which had once had a curl of smoke rising from the chimney, sat cold and gray in an otherwise white and blue world. Since the start of holiday, the gamekeeper had been busy helping his half-brother adjust to the Forbidden Forest. Harry scooped up a handful of snow and began to suck on the ice. The smell of the snow reminded him of the ribbon, which was still lying underneath his pillow. I wonder what’s so special about it, he thought. It smells like places I’ve been or a memory of something I’ve done. His thoughts were interrupted when he heard Ron mutter “Sapore toffee” and when he turned around, Ron was sucking on an amber coloured ball of snow.


He and Ron lobbed snowballs at each other, changing the snow colours and flavours, and later built snow dragons. But all the while, Harry’s mind was on the ribbon. He didn’t want to mention it to Ron. It seemed too secret and special, as if the giver had only meant for Harry to know about it. He never stopped thinking about it, not even at dinner.


By the time he’d snuck into bed, his eyes were burning and tired, even though he couldn’t remember what he had done. Finally, he pulled the drapes closed, reached under his pillow and brought out the crimson velvet box again. When he opened the box he saw the ribbon, just as he had left it, glowing softly against its pearly cushion. Taking it in hand, he felt the material as before; liquid, cool, and strange. He tried to force himself to stay awake, but his eyes longed to be closed and resting.


With regret, he took his glasses off and set them on his nightstand. As he lay there in bed, he ran his finger ponderously over the cool fabric and absently thought how nice it would feel over his eyes. The last thing he remembered before drifting off into glorious sleep was draping the ribbon lazily across his eyes, sighing as the coolness of it relaxed him.


*               *              *


Harry’s dream that night smelled like snowballs. The air was mild and a slight breeze stirred his unkempt hair. He found himself standing in the middle of an endless green slope. Scattered carelessly all over were miniscule flowers that looked like sprinkles. The sky was so shockingly blue it normally would have hurt his eyes, if this had all been real.


But it all felt so real, he thought as he lay down in the soft grass. The ground felt so cushion-like, he felt he could fluff it up, like a pillow. In fact he did just that and lay on his stomach, inhaling the scent of the greenery. It smelled of cream and pumpkin. Absently, he stroked the grass, which reminded him very much of stroking a girl’s hair. He remained like that for a long time afterwards.


*               *               *


“Ron, gerroff,” Harry groaned. “I want to go back to sleep.”


“You’ve been asleep all day! It’s nearly supper, so get up!” Ron shook him insistently. “And I’m not going to leave you alone until you get dressed. You should be starving, not having eaten since last night.”


“You starve if you haven’t eaten in an hour,” he muttered reproachfully. His stomach growled angrily at him. “But okay, I could do with something to eat.”


On the way down to dinner, he told Ron about the dream he’d had, which Ron didn’t seem impressed by. It was hard to make Ron see just how special it had been; that it had been the first happy dream he’d had in…well, as far back as he could remember. Ron suggested that perhaps he would have an equally wonderful dream that night, although Harry doubted that. It seemed almost as impossible as being taken to the zoo again by the Dursleys. It had been a mere stroke of luck, and nothing else.


“What’s with you, Harry?” Ron whispered, when they entered the Great Hall, their footsteps echoing. “You’ve been acting weird since presents. Did you eat too many of those Belinda Boffoe Toffees Mum sent? I once ate about fifteen in one go and felt absolutely tipped for the next week.”


Harry shook his head. “I’ve just been thinking about something. Not all that important, really.”


“Not important!” Ron exclaimed. “The way you’ve been mooning about? Come on, let’s have it. What’s got you so up in the clouds?”


Harry sighed. “Well, I got this present from somebody, I don’t know who. It’s some sort of ribbon, I think. There’s something familiar about it.” They had now sat down at their house table. “It seems I’ve seen something like it before.”


Ron was looking somewhat grave. “You sure nobody’s cursed it or anything? There may still be people smarting over that filth the Prophet was spouting last year.”


“No, I checked,” Harry lied. “But there’s something about that ribbon. It’s like a mystery or something. It doesn’t feel bad at all, but there’s something secret about it I have to figure out.”


Still looking a bit doubtful, Ron turned to his food and at once immersed himself in several slices of turkey smothered in gravy, heaps of corn, and an entire loaf of soft white bread. Harry sighed and reached for some food himself.


When dessert came, something immediately made him think of his dream. A large loaf of pumpkin bread sat before him and a bowl of whipped fresh cream beside it. Ron rolled his eyes at the sight of Harry once again far away and cut a huge slice of bread, plopping it unceremoniously on Harry’s plate, followed almost at once by a dollop of the whipped cream. The smells made him think of grass and an endless field. He hardly noticed Ron’s elbow in his arm and almost didn’t taste the bread as he ate it dutifully.


*               *               *


The second dream was more odd than the first. He sat in a large crimson velvet chair in a circular room. All around him were books and charts of varying interests. He stood up from the chair and walked over the crimson carpet. His boots sunk deep into the carpet and sounded like squinching snow. He reached down and scooped a handful of the carpet up and tasted it. He was surprised to find it tasted of apple tart. As he continued to eat the cold, powdery crimson carpet, he marveled at the way it warmed him inside and out, as if he really was eating an apple tart.


He walked over to a book and opened it. A roaring fire started in the hearth in front of him, and as he closed it the fire went out. Opening it again, he sat in front of the cozy fire on a gold-ish finished wood floor and reached for another book. With this one, the sun set in the east. The next brought magnificent red and gold fireworks lighting up the dark room. The smell of apples and shoe polish filled the room.


*               *               *


“Told you you’d have another good dream, didn’t I?” Ron responded rather smugly. “Next time you’ll probably think twice about ignoring my advice. I am a prefect, after all.”


Harry snorted with laughter, spitting his hot cider back into his goblet. “But the odd thing about it is,” Harry continued, wiping his chin on his robe sleeve. “They don’t seem like my dreams at all. I don’t dream about grass that smells like pumpkins or red snow carpets or shoe polish or anything like that.”


“Shoe polish?!” Ron sputtered, holding his hand to his mouth to keep his croissant from flying all over his plate. “Who dreams of shoe polish?”


“Ron, shut up. I’m telling you, these aren’t my dreams!” It’s like I’m inside somebody else’s dreams like…


“Hey Ron, I’ll meet up with you back in the common room,” Harry said suddenly, pushing his breakfast aside and gazing wonderingly at Dumbledore.


“What’re-” Ron started.


“I’ll tell you later,” he interrupted, and walked up to the head table where Dumbledore sat in animated conversation with Professor Flitwick. He stood awkwardly, but purposefully in front of the table, waiting to be noticed. Finally, Dumbledore looked up from his chat and smiled at him. “Er, Professor,” Harry started. “Could I talk with you when you’re finished?”


“Why of course, Harry. In fact, we were just finishing up.” Dumbledore stood up from his chair while tiny Prof. Flitwick jumped down. “Would you care to join me in the library? We’ll talk on the way.”


They left the Great Hall, Dumbledore asking Harry if he had been enjoying his Christmas holiday. “I myself have read all the books given to me a few times over. People do love to give me books,” the tall man sighed. “But I was fortunate to receive a most comfortable and warm pair of socks.” He pulled his purple robes up an inch to show Harry. One sock was red with tiny gold galleons and the other blue with black wizards hats. “I see you’ve been given a pair, yourself,” he added, nodding at Harry’s ever shortening robes. “Now, what was it you wished to talk to me about?”


“Well Professor, I wondered if the pensieve could be used in other ways. I mean, the memories you put in it, can they be used for other things?”


Dumbledore nodded and smiled. “Indeed they can. Some people tie them around their fingers to remind them of what they might forget. Others find the beauty of a memory so delightful they make jewelry using extracted memory. There are even some who make blankets or caps using dreams.” Harry began to suspect, and not for the first time in his life, that Dumbledore knew exactly what Harry was asking. “It is called a Dream Weave. The idea originated from the pensieve a long time ago. The man who invented it, Rupert Revel fell asleep one night while gazing into his pensieve and had a dream about a quite lengthy and boring Ministry meeting. After waking up drowsier than he had been before he went to sleep, he decided he’d extract all the good memories and dreams and put them into a separate bowl to avoid another horrible bore. His wife later decided to knit a small blanket to save her husband from drowning in his own dreams.”


It all began to make sense to Harry as he listened to the headmaster talk more about the beauty of the Dream Weave. When they reached the library, Harry excused himself and went back to the common room. He now knew what the ribbon was, but he still didn’t know who it was from.


He declined a game of Wizard’s Chess with Ron and headed up to his dormitory. Sitting on his bed, he pulled the ribbon from its box and held it in his hands. Could it have been from Dumbledore? No, he wasn’t likely to dream about pumpkin smelling grass. That seemed more a girl’s dream. Hermione was a girl, he thought, it could have been her. But he dismissed the thought. She would have dreamed of quizzes and scholarships and anything else to do with school. Ginny was likely to dream about these things, he thought. Maybe she had given him the Dream Weave.


Even though it was only afternoon, Harry lay back on his bed and draped the ribbon once again over his eyes. Maybe he could find out who it was in his dream, he thought as he fell asleep.


*               *               *


His third dream was not a dream at all. It looked and felt more like a memory. He was in the room from his second dream, but this time, the carpet didn’t sound like snow and the room didn’t smell of shoe polish. Large plush chairs surrounded him, and a couch sat before a warm fire. It was the Gryffindor common room. Sitting on the couch, soft, pale, and very pretty, was Ginny. She was looking down at something she held in her hands. In the background, some music was playing; Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, he noted, a bit surprised that he recognized a song he had never heard before. Then he remembered; this was somebody else’s memory.


He walked over to where Ginny sat and looked at her. She was smiling and humming along with the music. In her hand she held a small piece of silver fabric that rippled like water as she moved it about. He watched as she looked up toward him, but not as if she was seeing him, and smiled dreamily. Then, closing her eyes and sighing, she brought her wand to her temple and pulled it gently away. Attached to the end of her wand was a very thin silver string. She detached the string from the wand and held it in her hand, regarding it momentarily. Then she began to weave it tightly into the piece of fabric she held.

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