The Sugar Quill
Author: Jaime (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Of Books and Feathers  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns it all, baby! I just own the lack of plot.

Author’s note: Firstly, this was written just for the 1st Annual SQ Fanfic Tournament. Long live the Quill! Secondly, this takes place before the Second Task in Goblet of Fire, after Harry took a bath. Heh. Many thanks to Liz for beta-ing this. I know my comma-happiness bugged you. HA!

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“How about this one, then?”

The quill was the faintest shade of yellow, practically white, until the harsh lights of the library hit it at a certain angle, casting a buttery glow across the fragile sugar spun feathers. It was hard to imagine completing an assignment with it; the delicate quill looked as though it would shatter into tiny pieces just by picking it up. The flavour-revealing colours were the only difference among the otherwise identical sweets.

Of course, Harry couldn’t see any of this. All he saw was darkness; such is the result of having a scarf tied tightly around your eyes.

Ron stretched his arm across the table, holding the quill up to Harry’s mouth, allowing him to taste it. As he did so, Ron yawned, bored from sitting in the library for hours (although in reality it couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes).

“Er… lemon?”

“Ha! No, that’s your third wrong. It’s lemon meringue,” Ron announced very dramatically.

“There’s supposed to be a difference?” Harry asked in a flat tone.

“Yes. Come on now, what’s this one?” Another quill, this one a light blue.

“Bluebell.” The answer was instantaneous, managing to impress, amuse, and annoy Ron all at once.

“You can’t guess lemon meringue, but you know bluebell right off?”

The taste test was interrupted when Hermione walked out from the stacks with a pile of books—of course. She joined them, placing her books beside the ones that Harry and Ron were supposed to be using to look up ways of breathing underwater.

Ron glanced at her, shifting through the remaining sugar quills they had. “When’d you get here?” he asked, choosing an odd tan-ish one. “Still looking for ways to get Skeeter? Or perhaps you’re here to see Vicky…” he mumbled just above a whisper, not wanting to fight with her, but unable to stop himself from commenting all together.

“I am here to help Harry! And I think I’ll just pretend you never said that last bit, Ron, because we’re too busy to argue right now.” She stared at the blindfolded Harry and raised an eyebrow. “Not that anyone would know it, judging from whatever it is you two are doing.”

“Hi, Hermione,” Harry said sheepishly, moving to remove the scarf.

“Stop that! We’re not done yet,” Ron snapped, scowling at Hermione. He knew logically that what they had been doing hadn’t been much fun anyway, and so they may as well continue—er, begin their research. He knew this logically, of course. But Logic tended to get beaten out of his head by Stubbornness, and it seemed today was no different.

“Honestly, Ron, if it’s so important to you, finish your stupid game!” Hermione opened a particularly old and large tome and began to scan the pages.

“Thanks, we will.”

“Ouch!” In his anger, Ron had jabbed the tan quill too quickly at Harry, poking him in the nose. Sugary feathers crumbled onto the table. Harry rubbed his nose, obviously glaring at Ron from beneath his blindfold.

Hermione snorted quietly with laughter while Ron muttered an apology. Then he shrugged and placed a couple shards of broken quill in his mouth. Upon this, Hermione really started to laugh, dropping her head onto the open book in front of her in an attempt to stay silent.

“Shush! Wouldn’t want Madam Pince to catch her favorite student disrupting the quiet of the library, would you?” Ron asked, but he was also laughing.

Harry sighed and began to unravel the fabric from his head, only to be stopped by Ron once again. “What now?!” Harry exclaimed. “I don’t feel much like getting stabbed again, and I also don’t care for being blinded while you two are laughing like that—”

“Oh, come on. Just one or two more, that’s all I have left anyway. Don’t tell me you’d rather be studying?”

Harry ignored the inevitable start of Hermione’s lecture on studying and nodded hesitantly.

“Well, I’m going to go look for a book I must have missed. I know I’ve read something about underwater breathing… I’m just sure of it!” With that, Hermione flashed a quick smile at the two boys and disappeared into the stacks.

Ron stared after her, not fully knowing why he did so. Completely mad, that girl was. He raised a quill to Harry’s face absentmindedly, resting his chin on his other arm.

“Eurgh! All right, no more!”

Ron started, looking over at Harry, who had finally removed the scarf and was now glaring at Ron once more. Ron understood why; he hadn’t even been holding a sugar quill, but instead, his normal, ink covered, Very Real Feathered quill.

//
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