The Sugar Quill
Author: BeatriceEagle  Story: Mars Bar  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: Harry Potter and the Dursleys belong to J

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.

 

Mars Bar

 

            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.

            One day 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.

            His 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 quickly.

            He 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 chocolate.

            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 the Dursleys.

            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 one.

            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.

            In 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.

//
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