The Sugar Quill
Author: JV and M99 (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Talk  Chapter: Default
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The usual disclaimer: Harry Potter and friends belong to J.K. Rowling. We're just borrowing them for some totally non-profit fun.

"He's fourteen, you know. High time he was told something," Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eye. The two men were talking in the safety of his private office at Hogwarts.

Sirius looked shocked. "Can't YOU tell him?"

"Oh no, that would be... improper. You are his closest trustworthy relative. You can't leave this delicate matter to the Dursleys." Dumbledore frowned at the thought and gave a small shudder.

"But I don't know anything about talking about..." This was not something he'd ever anticipated discussing in front of Dumbledore. Well, there was the time he'd been caught coming back from the Astronomy tower at two in the morning after a late night adventure with a cute Hufflepuff...

Dumbledore must have caught something of his thought - hang his perceptivity! And smiled at him kindly. "I'm sure you'll do fine."

"I'm not so sure," Sirius muttered.

Dumbledore raised a questioning eyebrow.

"Oh, all right, all right. You're sure you couldn't ask, say... Moony to handle this? He's the one who was a teacher."

"And you are the godfather."

"James would never have wanted ME to be the one to tell him about... girls... and... and... sex! James knew me at school. He'd never have been that careless!"

"James trusted you, my friend. I think you would have earned his trust for this by now." The Headmaster did not bother to hide his smile. "And besides, you didn't have trouble with girls, did you? It's always best to learn from those who know what they're doing, I'd say."

The younger wizard shrugged. "Well, I did have something of a knack- hey, no appealing to my ego! Besides, is that the example you want set for Harry?" He gave Dumbledore a beseeching look. "Tell me to do anything; tell me to go spy on Voldemort, face down a horde of dementors, even have ten minutes' civil conversation with Snape, anything but this!"

"Hmm, the ten minutes' conversation is tempting, but no, I think you need to do this first. Just be yourself, Sirius. I'm sure you'll do fine."

"Believe me, after giving Harry 'The Talk,' seeing Severus Snape is the last thing I'd be willing to do." After a long moment's pause, Sirius finally squared his shoulders with a resigned sigh. "All right. I'll do it."

"Excellent! That's my brave fellow. I'll call Harry up here, and send for some lunch." All too soon from Sirius' perspective, Dumbledore had sent for Harry, seen lunch delivered, and excused himself from the office.

Sirius gazed up at the ceiling in Dumbledore's office and began bravely.

"Well, Harry, it's time for a talk. You probably ought to know.... girls are different."

Harry had been delighted to find his godfather waiting for him after he'd answered this mysterious summons to Dumbledore's office. Now he looked at his godfather, somewhat puzzled over the object of this conversation.

"Uh, yeess?" Harry ventured, wondering where this was leading.

"You see, girls, well, they are...they have different...ah.... Well, they aren't like you or me," Sirius continued, looking as if he were trying to read a particularly difficult script. "You see, boys...well, men, but boys, too...boys" he dithered, breaking into a light sweat.

Harry listened patiently, even though he was rather mystified by this odd talk.

"You might say there are two different kinds of equipment..."

"What?! We all got our wands at Ollivanders!" Harry protested.

Sirius started to sweat in earnest. "Well, not wands, exactly...though I suppose that's as good an, wait a moment. Have you ever noticed that boys stand up when they go to the toilet, while girls sit down? Well, they don't always, I suppose, if it were dirty enough...this isn't going well...."

He stared at Fawkes desperately, but the phoenix put his head under his wing.

"Sirius, are you feeling all right?" Harry asked.

Sirius made a number of mime-inspired gestures. " know...." he paused and muttered, "Dumbledore should have done this."

"Maybe you need some food..." Harry looked around for the tray he'd noticed on the table as he had entered the office. The Headmaster had kindly left them a large pot of tea and a plate of sandwiches.

"All right, all right. Boys have..." he sucked in a deep breath. "Boys have..." He gasped the rest in a rush. "Boyshavepenisesandgirlsdon't." Then he added under his breath. "I'm going to call James back from the grave and kill him again just for leaving me to do this."

"Uh. Right. Have some of this nice sandwich, Sirius."

Black stared at the sandwich as if he didn't know what it was. "Anyway...girls are...quite different...down there."

"Sirius, girls are different ALL the time!" Harry looked exasperated at having to state the obvious, giving Sirius a "what else is new?" look. "Besides, Hermione's taste in shoes proves how different girls are," he added as further proof.

"No, I mean...physically. They have And the parts...well...ah...let me try this, girls...girls are sort know how animals sometimes act really strange in springtime?"

"Sirius, you're acting really strange now. Won't you have something to eat?"

"Well, when girls and boys reach a certain age their... different... parts... are... ah... developed, and they sometimes start to have--feelings about each other," Sirius looked at the sandwich again and turned a bit green.

"Parts..." Harry shook his head, still trying to figure out what Sirius was trying to tell him. This didn't sound like a plot by Voldemort, at least. "I feel for Hermione most of the time. She's a brain and a pain."

"No, not like that!" Taking a deep breath--might as well plunge right in--no, don't think about plunging or anything like that... "I mean, feelings. Romantic feelings."

"Uh. For Hermione?" Harry uttered a squeak of embarrassment.

"No! For any girl! Well, not any girl, usually there'll be one girl in particular, and you'll start to have...ah...these feelings, and if, feels the same way...."

A very green stare rewarded his efforts.

Sirius started to wish that Voldemort would show up and put him out of his misery. "Haven't you ever--looked at a girl, and noticed that she's...pretty? Or maybe, ah, that she has a very nice...ah...figure?" He illustrated with vague gestures in the area of the chest.

"Oh! Pretty! Yes. Sure, Sirius." A nod and shy grin.

Thank God! A breakthrough! he thought with relief. "Well, sometimes, when there's a girl that you think is...pretty, she feels...sort of the same way about you that you do about her, only of course she won't think you're pretty, she might think you're handsome, or, rugged, or...well, you get the picture. When the two of you both feel like this, you might want to....well....want to...." Oh, no, it's breaking down again...

"I think I need a drink of water."

"How about some tea?" Harry filled a cup from the still steaming pot. He handed it to Sirius. "Want to ask her to go to the dance??" Harry filled in what he thought might be the missing words.

"Ah, well, yes, it could start with a dance," Sirius said, trying to remember his own father addressing this--something besides 'don't embarrass the family.' "Then, after the dance you go for a walk on the might want to find someplace where you can be alone...."

Harry looked at his godfather in embarrassment, brow furrowed as he began to figure out where this might be leading.

"Well...if she's willing, and you are, and you both are, are interested, then, you, sometimes...ah, well, there's usually kissing to start with..."

Harry blushed, but didn't say anything.

"Ah, well, after you've, ah, kissed the girl for a while, you might want to...ah...start exploring a little...Is it warm in here? Ah, well, you see, girls sometimes don't mind if you're a bit, um, curious, and you want to try, ah, touching them, and ah, well, you probably ought to know that those school robes sometimes have a trick catch at the collar, if you work it just right you can get it open one-handed--wait, I shouldn't be telling you how, well, I should, but not like that...."

Now Sirius was being goggled at.

"You see, kissing usually leads to.... well, some people call it "petting," but I've spent time as a dog and I've been petted and it's really not the same thing at all..."

"Wait! Does this have anything to do with babies?!" Harry demanded.

Sirius, sensing that rescue might be close to hand, finally bit the bullet. "Harry, is there anything you would like to know about girls and sex?" He hid his head in his hands while waiting for the answer.

"Huh? Gosh, Sirius, Hermione lent me her book, Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality. Her parents sent her off with a pile of books this past year, and a bunch of them were on anatomy and reproduction and other stuff." Harry paused for a moment. "People look weird without their clothes on," he continued, "But it explained a lot of things."

"You know? I mean, you read it in a book? You understand everything? You don't have any questions?" Sirius felt weak with relief. Thank goodness for kids with parents in the medical professions!

"I can't think of any questions right now... but... if I have any later?" Harry gave him a hopeful look.

"Oh, that's fine!"

Harry grinned at him. "Want part of my sandwich?"

"Actually...if you don't mind...I think I'm going to go and chase Muggle cars for a while. Maybe tree a cat or two. Here, take your friends and go to a movie." He handed Harry several pieces of paper. "If you need me... well... I'll talk to you later!" He promptly transformed into a large black dog and bolted for the nearest exit.

Harry looked at Ron and Hermione, "Sirius tried to talk to me, but he got all embarrassed and gave me these." He held out three tickets.

"What's this?" asked Ron, clearly fascinated.

"Tickets to a Muggle movie?" asked Hermione. "Which one?" Harry gave her the tickets and she read, "Austin Powers Filmfest featuring The Spy Who Shagged Me and Goldmember? Em, Harry, what sort of taste in movies does Sirius have?"

"Might be fun!" Ron looked enthusiastic. Harry reads a book of facts


Grateful thank-yous to our beta-readers Judi and Kat.


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