The Sugar Quill
Author: Rachael DuBois (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Summer After  Chapter: Default
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The Pumpkin: Hagrid

The Pumpkin: Hagrid

It was huge. Orange and huge. It lorded over the rest of the garden, and it was his pride and joy. This was going to be the biggest pumpkin he had ever grown.

Hagrid hummed to himself as he tenderly wiped down the firm sides until they gleamed in the afternoon sunlight. This was one work that did not require magic. It was all in the technique to grow these beautiful vegetables.

The secret was to talk to them. They were like children, they were. Tell ‘em you love them, and you’re proud of ‘em. Let them know you believed in ‘em, even if no one else did. With that kind of encouragement, the tiniest cucumber would be confident enough to grow to the size of a respectable canoe.

This was his greatest success. If only Dumbledore . . . His smile faltered for a moment. But that wasn’t the way Dumbledore looked at it. The Headmaster would be proud of this accomplishment, whether he was here to see it or not.

Hagrid went back to humming.



Gone Fishing: Fred & George

“Fred?”

Yes, George?”

This didn’t go how we’d planned, did it.”

Er, not exactly, George.”

I’m a little afraid to ask what’s dripping down my neck.”

“Well, see, I think it’s just a bit of lake water. Nothing to worry about.”

“And the bits flapping around my ears?”

I believe those are called fins.”

“Oh. Of course.”

“Glad to help with that.”

“Um, Fred?”

“Yes, George?”

Why is my hair all flopping around?”

“Now, don’t get mad, Fred.”

“Why would I get mad?”

“Well, see, when we tried to conjure up some lunch, I don’t think we specified how fresh we wanted it.”

“And . . .”

“And now we have some fresh trout. Er, where your hair used to be.”

“Oh. Is that all?”



Hot Chocolate: Ron & Hermione

Hermione was bent over several thick books, which was almost a permanent state of being these days. Ron entered, coaching a precariously balanced mug through the door with the tip of his wand. “Hermione, Mum says--.”

He stopped when he saw she wasn’t just bent over the books but had quite firmly fallen asleep this time. She still had a finger marking her place on one page. Ron bent over and grinned as he wiped away a trickle of drool from the corner of her mouth.

At the touch, Hermione jerked awake. “What, huh?”

“Hot chocolate?”

Erwhazuprt?”
She blinked and ran a hand through her hair. “Chocolate?”

Er, I didn’t know how you like it. I mean, I put in a marshmallow. I can get some cinnamon, if you want it. I just didn’t know—“

She smiled, her eyes cleared from sleep. “No. Thanks. It’s perfect.” She grinned at him, and Ron had a sneaking suspicion she didn’t mean just the drink.

For some reason, even with her hair all tousled and a crease running down her cheek, he had to agree. It was perfect.



Portrait Hunger: Dumbledore

Portraits aren’t exactly deep. Actually, they’re pretty flat. Of course, this doesn’t bother the portraits. They live in two dimensions, so it doesn’t really phase them too much. They’re created to reflect a certain image or personality, but they’re never really called on to do much more than that. They’re just pictures, after all.

One portrait, however, had failed to find what he was looking for in any of the other pictures he could get to. It must have been a gross oversight. There was just one treat, reflected from the man he had been painted for, that was just a burning desire.

And there it was, sitting on the desk. Uneaten and forgotten. It could have been inches away, it could have been miles, it would have been the same to a portrait stuck inside a canvas dimension.

Dumbledore’s portrait sighed to itself. Perhaps when Minerva returned, he would ask her to commission a painting of cinnamon toast somewhere in the castle.



Breakfast: Molly

Hissssssss. Potatoes boiling.

Sizzzzzzz. Eggs on the skillet.

Clunk. Clunk. A knife through apples for a pie.

Whif. Whif. Floured hands kneeding dough for bread.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Hands of a family clock, counting away the seconds until morning.

Meow. A tired kitty, wondering why his mistress is up so early, cooking before the sun is up.

Twwweeeeeet! Tea is ready!

Crackle. Pop. A fire, snapping beneath a pot of porridge.

Creak. Groan. Her husband tiptoeing down stairs, trying not to wake the wedding party still sleeping.

Mwuah. A kiss on the cheek. It is salty today.

Sniffle. Molly isn’t really crying. Really, she isn’t.

Slich. Sluch. Onions chopped for omelets.

It is going to be just a wonderful day.



Old, Dusty Bottles: Narcissa

Pale and beautiful, she is, sitting at the empty table. The candlesticks don’t quite shine the way they used to, but the candles are still lit. Long, pale fingers grasp the stem of the wine glass. It is early, but it’s already her third glass with this meal. She eyes the dark liquid. It’s not as refined a wine as she is used to, but it’s hardly embarrassing.

“Thank you, Lucius,” she mutters under her breath, and the nervous house elf at her side jumps at the name. “Thank you for not losing us everything.” She takes a large sip. The house elf wrings his napkin-apron. “And thank you, Draco,” she says, a smirk on her lips. “Thank you for not dying.”

She drains the glass and holds it out for more.


 


Brothers are a Bother: Hannah Abbott

Dear Diary,

I
hate little brothers! I really thought I was going crazy today. I mean, really, really crazy. What was I supposed to think? I don’t even know how he managed to switch my wand. It’s just a horrible thing to do to a person! Of course, he is made of snot, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Everything, and I mean
everything I tried to do today turned into a carrot. Wash the dishes? Suddenly the tea cup is rabbit food. Make my bed? My pillow belongs in the garden. I hate carrots!

The little snot. I thought I had lost my mind. But don’t worry. I’ll teach him to never shop at Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes ever again!





Dinner Conversation: Neville & His Grandmother

“Don’t slurp your soup, Neville.” And get your elbows off the table, and sit up straight and tall. But I’ve told you that a thousand times already and it hasn’t made a difference. “I saw Harry’s name in the newspaper again today. They said he’s not going back to school this coming year.” Are you going to be joining him? I’m not sure I want to know. “I’m going into town again today. Do you need anything from the store?” What can I still provide for you? You look more and more like your father every year. But if I tell you that, maybe you’ll join your hero friends and I’ll lose you too. “Nothing? Sit up straight, Neville, and get your elbows off the table.” Be my little boy just a little while longer.



Mint & Lavender: Bill & Fleur

“Bill! You are not supposed to see me before the wedding!”

“Merlin, you’re beautiful.”

Zat is besides the point. No! Oh, don’t be seelly!”

“Is it silly to not be able to wait to kiss the most beautiful woman in the world on my wedding day?”

Mmmm. You taste like mint today.”

“And you smell like lavender.”

“Now, out! And don’t come back! You’ll ‘ave to act surprised.”

“I’ll just have a goofy-happy grin on my face. That I won’t have to fake.”

Ooph.
Out! Out!”

I love you, Fleur.”

“And I love you, Bill. Now out!”



A Shady Spot For Stream of Thought: Ginny

This is a pretty comfortable spot. The sun isn’t in my eyes, and the bark isn’t too rough against my back. I’ve got a pretty good view of the party, too. Mmmm. I think this apple is perfect. Exactly crunchy enough, and very sweet. Lucky I filched it before Mum got it into the pie. There’s Ron, and Hermione. ‘Bout time, that one. He is such a dunderhead. Oh. There’s Harry. He’s actually looking happy today. I’m glad. Really, I am. I want him to be happy, and he’s got such a long road ahead of him. I just with he wasn’t so stupid as to think he has to do it alone. I wonder, when it’s over, if he’ll still want me. Oh, oww! Stupid tongue, getting in the way. This really is a nice spot, even if, eww, I can see Bill and Fleur kissing. Older brothers are such a pain.



Rotten Eggs: Snape

You know you’ve never been one for elaborate meals. They give you indigestion anyway. You’re right—simpler is better. Go ahead and toss away those potatoes. Does anyone actually like foie gras? You think it all smells the same, no matter who does the cooking.

If you drink something with enough alcohol in it you might drown out the stench that seems to have taken up residence in your nostrils. You’ve already tried showers, until you were as wrinkled as a prune and that didn’t help any.

You might just have to get used to the idea that your guilt stinks of rotten eggs.



Wolf’s Bane: Lupin

There it sat, foul and placid. The hope of the werewolf community who had dreams of rejoining the wizarding world. Lupin eyed the cup of Wolfsbane with distaste. He had never grown used to the flavor, no matter how many years he had drunk it. The concept of not drinking it was an abhorrent one, but this was not the first night when he had contemplated tossing it down the drain.

Only fiends like Greyback turned away from this sobering draught when the full moon rose. Remus Lupin was not a fiend and had no intention of becoming one. He ran a finger around the rim. It had been a long time since he had been without it. How bad could it be, really, to go one night without it? He could go back to the Shrieking Shack and hole himself up for safety.

It was then that Tonks stuck her head in the door. “Did you finish it yet, Remus?”

And there it was. Reason for maintaining sanity. That was one thing that would make it worth it. He grasped the cup and with a grimace chugged it down. “Yes, Tonks,” he around a coughing fit. “It’s all down.”



Home: Harry

There is a spicy scent to the air in Godric’s Hollow that melds perfectly with the lingering warmth of the perfect summer day and the wind rustling leafy trees. Harry inhales deeply and thinks it smells like home, if he had one. Maybe that’s why it smells that way here, because this could have been home.

He pushes the gate to the cemetery open and strolls between rows of mossy headstones. Blueberry pie, he decides. That’s the summery smell. He cocks his head, trying to read the faded lettering on one stone. The rector said it was on this row somewhere, although no one had been to tend it in years and he couldn’t be sure where it was exactly.

It was a nice place, he decides. Very peaceful, which was good for a cemetery. Maybe mincemeat pie too, he thinks. This would be a very nice place to have a home. Maybe someday he could come back here and . . .

He’s found them. For a moment, he’s home at last.

//
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