The Sugar Quill
Author: Quintrisha  Story: The First and Final Hogwarts Field Trip  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: I don’t own the members of Ms. Rowling’s world; I only live in it. Okay, so the above line doesn’t belong to me either, but Mr. Leigon does. Anyone and anything you recognize is the brilliant work of JKR.

Author’s Note: I’d like to thank the lovely ladies of the Sugar Quill for conducting this contest (and for putting up with my constant emailing mistakes) and to Javiera, my brilliant beta. It was tons of fun writing this story and may there be many more annual tournaments to come!

“You are here, at one of the many Sugar Quill Factories worldwide.” Mr. Leigon ­(pronounced, Le-hon, as he never failed remind) pushed open the twelve-foot double-doors as if they were feather quills themselves, letting the students scurry excitedly in. “Every Sugar Quill that you have ever set your tongues upon has been sweetened by our sweeteners, been tested by our tasters, and has been designed by our designers for your very own, personal satisfaction.”

Dennis Creevey’s eyes widened so far he practically dropped Colin’s camera. Did that mean—

“Uh, sir? Excuse me?” His scrawny hand slowly rose into the air, the scent of which came very close to that of Dennis’s eleventh birthday cake.

“Ah, yes,” the tips of his gray moustache curved upwards, much like his glossed lips. “You had a question, young man? I’d be happy to accommodate any concerns you may have, though,” he abruptly adjusted his navy color, and his face grew a rather uncomfortable shade of red, “though I’m sure that any apprehensions you may have are, of course, unnecessary, as we have perfected the creation of Sugar Quills over our hundreds of years in serving the gracious public.”

The disordered assembly of Hogwarts first years turned from their whispered tête-à-têtes to Dennis, who was hit with the sudden temptation to slip the charcoal hood of his robes over his mousy brown hair and step behind one of those fifty-foot sugar generators.

“Err, uh… all of the Sugar Quills that come through here are taste tested, right?”

Several groans of frustration came from the cluster at this, and a number of heads were flung back in disgust. Dennis Creevey wasn’t necessarily the brightest quill in the box when it came to matters of rationality.

Mr. Leigon’s midnight blue eyes darted about in a manner that would suggest more than the slightest bit of uneasy confusion. “Yes, young man- what did you say your name was, again?”

He hadn’t said his name. “Dennis,” he spoke up, “Dennis Creevey.”  

“Ah,” the man behind the moustache nodded, “yes, Dennis. Yes, we have thousands of witches and wizards stationed worldwide whom we pay good money whose only purpose is to make sure that each and every one of our Sugar Quills is worthy of its revered title.”

“Oh.” Dennis had never heard of candy being honored before, but he figured that after years of working in a Sugar Quill factory—and it was evident that this man had, in fact, spent a good many years working in the Sugar Quill factory—a wizard gathered a certain respect towards the pleasurable treat. “So do they get taste tested before they get put into the box?”

Mr. Leigon obviously wasn’t used to getting these sorts of questions, and it was quite clear that he didn’t appreciate them. His perfect teeth gritted together and his pasty fists clenched so tightly that indents of his nails were making themselves apparent in his pudgy palms. He must have been a talented wizard, Dennis concluded, because it was magical the way his voice remained at such a calm. “Do you by any chance have a brother, Dennis?”

Dennis blushed, and nodded, “Yep, sure do! Colin- Colin Creevey.”

Mr. Leigon nodded, “Right, of course. Is he, by- by any chance, is he the one Harry Potter said hello to in the hallways?”

“Uh-huh,” Dennis nodded quickly, “he sure did!” He subsided from his burst of enthusiasm. “But I have to admit,” the first year giggled, “Colin did hound him a bit.”

“I see,” Mr. Leigon muttered. “I wouldn’t be surprised in the least.” He uncrossed his arms and shook his head, toupee swaying. “Now, about the Sugar Quills…?”

“Oh!” Dennis jumped, “Right. You said that they all get taste tested before they get put in the purple boxes, right? My aunt loves those boxes; she says they’re just so darling she could take them home and put them in cousin Silvia’s baby clothes.”

Dennis reckoned that if you could deposit the look on Mr. Leigon’s face into a bright blue feather and lick it, it would be the sweetest Sugar Quill he’d ever tasted.

“Why, tell your aunt that we appreciate her business. We put all of our taste buds onto each and every one of the quills, and-”

“Yeah!” Dennis stopped Mr. Leigon in his beating of the dead horse, for which more than one of the eleven-year-olds was grateful. “About your taste buds-- if all of the quills are licked before they’re put in the cartons, wouldn’t that mean that we’re sucking on ABC Sugar Quills?”  

Even the Slytherins recoiled in disgust at this, each and every one of the first years re-evaluating their childhood treats. A certain Hufflepuff girl shrieked: another looked as if she would burst into tears.

“Ye-” his bushy gray eyebrows furrowed; eight solid wrinkles were slowly embedding themselves into his forehead. “ABC?”

“Already Been Chewed, sir. But I suppose they would be Already Been Licked in this case.”

“I…” Mr. Leigon’s eyes narrowed and widened; his double-chinned jaw dropped a good few centimeters. “You know, I never thought of it like that before…”

The students gaped. Did- did this man have a soul?

“But,” he found a way to reconcile it with his conscience: in the nick of time, it seemed. “You can be assured that your Sugar Quills are just as sanitary as Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, and you will never have to worry about finding a mucus Sugar Quill in your box. The taste testers employed by the Sugar Quill factory have impeccable hygiene, and each and every one of them brushes their teeth three times a day.” Mr. Leigon looked about the disgruntled first years nervously, waiting for a result: he liked his job and he intended to keep it.

The first years seemed to have relaxed some, to the old man’s relief; a few of the boys seemed to have even gotten comfortable with the idea of ABL Sugar Quills.

Dennis, however, wasn’t so sure. It was clear to him, however, that no matter how pretty a Sugar Quill box might look in a pink polka-dotted baby bonnet, he wasn’t giving them to anyone this Christmas. Well, maybe Colin.

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