Disclaimer: Harry Potter
and the Dursleys belong to J.K. Rowling, the Mars Bar belongs to Mars Inc, and
the Boots stores belong to whoever owns them.
Author’s Note: Thank you a
thousand times over to Whimsy, my amazing beta, for setting me straight
on how much a pound bought in the 80s (apparently, more than one Mars Bar), and
for knowledge on all sorts of sweets-related Briticisms. Thanks also to my
father for buying me my first-ever Mars Bar – the inspiration for this fic.
Harry Potter was six
the first and only time he had a Mars Bar.
At one time, the
Dursleys actually had given him pocket money – never very much or very
often, but money all the same. A small child who had never heard of the
concept of “saving up,” he would spend it the first chance he got, on small
toys or pretty trinkets or whatever caught his fancy. It was a pleasure to buy
something completely gratuitous, something purely for enjoyment; he had very
few of those sort of things.
when he was six, Aunt Petunia handed him a few spare coins. “Don’t lose it,
because I’m not giving you any more,” she said, and turned back to her soap
opera. He spent the rest of the day imagining how he might spend it: his toy
soldiers (both of them)could do with a castle to defend, and his plastic dragon
might like a hoard.
chance to spend his precious money came a few days later. Aunt Petunia was
taking Dudley into town for new clothes, and, having nothing to do with Harry
(Mrs. Figg was away on vacation), she brought him along too. They stopped in a
Boots to buy Dudley a Coke, and Harry saw the sweets rack.
It was a rare occasion
when Harry got sweets. He didn’t trick-or-treat on Halloween, never having had
a costume to go in, and the Dursleys certainly never gave him any sweets.
Sometimes he got some when they had a holiday party at school, but more often
than not Dudley stole them from him. He had never considered spending his
pocket money on sweets; something had always caught his eye before he could.
Now, though, here was a
whole rack of sweets that he could have. But how to choose! There seemed to
Harry to be endless kinds: sour, sweet, hard, soft, sherbet lemons, chocolates,
fruit chews! The sweets came in bars, in drops, in long strands. There was
simply no way to decide.
Harry glanced nervously
toward the back of the store, where Dudley was getting his Coke. If Dudley saw him buying sweets, he would surely steal them from him; Harry had to choose
closed his eyes and stuck out his hand. His fingers closed around a chocolate
bar, and opening his eyes, he saw that it was a Mars Bar.
Harry hurried to the
counter and set the chocolate bar down on it – no easy task, given that he
could hardly see over the top. He dug the money out of his pocket and set it
by the Mars bar. Glancing nervously over his shoulder every few seconds, he
took his pathetically small change, declined the offer of a bag to carry his
treasure in, and stuffed the chocolate into his pocket.
As they left the store,
Dudley glared at Harry. “What are you so happy about?” he said, and he
shoved Harry into the wall.
Harry didn’t care
though, because he had a Mars Bar in his pocket.
At home, in the safety
of his cupboard, Harry opened his Mars Bar. It was rather melted, and slightly
crushed from when Dudley had pushed him, but that didn’t matter; it was still
Harry took a bite and
was amazed. The caramel, the nougat, the chocolate! It was almost too much.
He ate the rest of the bar in a matter of seconds, and sighed in sorrow that
there wasn’t more.
That was the last
pocket money Harry ever got. Probably Aunt Petunia simply forgot, but whatever
the reason, he never received any more money during the rest of his time with
This, of course, meant
that he never had another Mars Bar in that time, either, and for that, Harry
was quite sad. Often, while weeding the garden or mowing the lawn, he would
dream of the caramel, and he sometimes thought that that his long, dark
stretches in the cupboard would be bearable if he could only have a taste of
that nougat. He could never account for this obsession, but the Mars Bar
certainly stuck in his memory. For years, he never gave up the hope of another
A few months after his
tenth birthday, however, he was stuck in the cupboard because of the appearance
of some rather odd flowers in the garden while he’d been working there (one of
them had spat razor-sharp seeds). For once, he didn’t dream of a Mars Bar.
fact, as he sat in his dusty, dark cupboard, he thought of what a shame it was
that he would probably never have a Mars Bar again.