The Sugar Quill
Author: Alphie (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Quills and Ink Bottles  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.

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Continued from Plugs and Outlets

 

A/N: Here it is after many requests, but it’s nothing like the original. A father/son chat is very different from a mother/daughter chat. I’m not too good with sequels, but Thing 1 threatened to NOT post her next story if I didn’t post this. So here it is. Thanks to Jane and Zsenya for reading it over for me. If you haven’t read Plugs and Outlets, I suggest you do so first.

 

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Fidgeting around in the kitchen, Molly Weasley nervously went over the talk in her head. What should she say? What shouldn’t she say? How much should you tell a child about all this? Was Ginny ready to hear it all? Was Molly ready to explain it to her? It was all very perplexing, so Molly kept rearranging the tidy kitchen as an excuse not to talk to Ginny.

She stopped at the sound of Arthur coming down the stairs. Had he done it? Had he had the chat with Ron? She glanced around the corner at her husband and found him smiling amusedly to himself. He nodded his head and headed outside to his shed. Molly frowned at this. She had hoped to receive a report on how it had gone. But as usual, Arthur didn’t say a word to her about it. He never did before, so why should he now?

Molly knew that Arthur had given all the other boys "the talk". It had all started with Bill and that letter Molly had accidentally found in the pocket of his school robes after he returned from his sixth year at Hogwarts. She only read it because she didn’t know if it was an important document that Bill needed to keep. In it, some girl had thanked Bill for a lovely night and promised him that it would all go more smoothly next time. Molly remembered the chill that ran through her body as she read the words, "I’m so glad my first time was with someone special!" Her son…her baby…was no longer innocent! Molly had insisted at that moment that Arthur talk to Bill and had made certain that he had spoken to other boys before they had crossed that line.

Arthur had been so nervous about it! Molly had chuckled at the look on his face when she had told him about the note. "Molly, you could have misunderstood. Surely he’s not…he hasn’t…" Then Arthur had said that if the boy was already up to such things, he really didn’t see the point in going into detail with him about it. She had insisted, however, and Arthur had spoken to Bill. But he never told Molly exactly what he had said. He had just said that it was taken care of. As each boy’s turn had come, Molly thought that Arthur would grow more comfortable with the talk, but he still seemed just as nervous as ever last night when she mentioned he should talk to Ron.

It was then that Arthur had said something unexpected. He told Molly that she had to talk to Ginny. So, now it was Molly’s turn to be nervous. She was sure that Ginny had never participated in such behavior, but that didn’t make it any easier. And since Harry would be joining them at the Burrow in a few days, Molly had to get this talk over with soon, or it might be too late! She shook her head at the thought. No, Harry would never push Ginny into something like that so soon. But Molly was still concerned. Harry was a teenage boy. And if anyone was familiar with the out of control raging hormones of a teenage boy, it was Molly Weasley…the woman who had raised six boys!

Making up her mind, Molly tucked her wand away and started up the steps to her daughter’s room. She noticed that the door was cracked just slightly. Ginny was lying on her stomach on her bed, holding a letter out in front of her. A playful smile danced across her face. Ginny’s feet were crossed up in the air behind her, swaying slightly as she reread the letter. Molly smiled. It must be a letter from Harry, she thought. Well, no time like the present. Screwing up her courage, Molly knocked on the door.

Ginny looked up, slightly startled, but smiling. "Oh! Hello, Mum. What’s up?"

Molly entered the room, noticing that Ginny hadn’t fully unpacked her school things. It wasn’t like her to leave a mess. Ginny took after Percy…she was tidy. "I was just wondering how you were doing?"

"I’m great, Mum." She looked back at the letter in her hands.

Molly pursed her lips and decided that she had to ask. "Ginny, dear, who is the letter from?"

Ginny looked up at her mother with wide eyes and an open mouth. A small sigh escaped as she returned her focus to the letter. "Harry." It was almost a whisper.

Molly scooted Ginny’s legs off to the side and took a seat next to her on the bed. Ginny sat up, careful not to look her mother in the eyes. "Does this mean that Harry has finally opened up his eyes and noticed my wonderful girl?" Molly asked.

Ginny nodded, playing with the letter in her small hands. Molly rested a hand on Ginny’s shoulder, and Ginny slowly looked up at her. "What does he say?" Molly pressed.

Ginny shrugged and fixed her eyes back on the letter. "Oh, it’s not the very romantic letter that I’ve always dreamed of. But he did say that he was looking forward to seeing me this summer and that he hoped that Ron would not be…well…upset that he…"

"That he likes you?" Molly finished for her. Ginny nodded shyly, tilting her now pink face to look at her knees. Molly felt her heart leap at the knowledge that her youngest…her only daughter…was fancied by the boy she had been dreaming of for so long. This must seem like a fairy tale to Ginny!

Molly smiled brightly at her daughter and said, "Ginny, dear, I think it’s time that you and I had a talk."

"About Harry?" Ginny asked, surprising Molly somewhat.

"Well, not about Harry specifically. But rather about boys in general." A small giggle escaped from Ginny’s throat and she went all pink again. Molly continued with her prearranged idea of exactly how to do this. "Ginny dear, boys and girls are like quills and ink bottles."

"Quills?" Ginny looked rather confused.

"Yes, dear. You, as a girl, are the ink bottle."

"And Harry’s a quill?" Ginny seemed rather amused at the thought and giggled again.

"Allow me to explain. When an ink bottle is brand new and has never been opened before, there is a seal across the top of it. That seal protects the ink from spilling out all over everything. Now, what happens when we break the seal of an ink bottle too early? Say, perhaps, when we already have another one opened."

"One of the bottles dries up?" Ginny still didn’t seem to understand where this was going.

"Exactly." Molly looked Ginny in the eyes to be sure this point would come across loud and clear. "And it’s no good anymore. It’s been wasted." Molly watched as a realization spread across Ginny’s face and her jaw began to drop.

"Now, as for quills…they come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are long and thin. Others are short and chunkier."

Ginny interrupted. "I like the ones that are really long and are fat at the end for an easier grip. They’re also easier to sharpen because…" Ginny stopped, suddenly realizing what she was saying and what it implied. Molly gave a small laugh at the horror now expressed on Ginny’s face. "Oh Mum! You know I’m talking about a real quill. I’m not talking about…well I’ve never…ever…"

Molly laughed again and calmed her down. "I know Ginny, don’t worry. But you see my point about other quills?"

Ginny nodded and Molly continued. "There is another thing I want to make sure you understand. That seal on the ink bottle…how does one go about breaking it?"

"Oh that’s easy…you just poke it with the tip of the quill." Ginny clapped her hand over her mouth almost the instant the words left her. After a moment Ginny gasped, "Mum!"

Molly leaned in closer to her and said in a low voice, "You see what I mean?"

Ginny was now biting her fingernails. She looked up Molly and timidly asked, "Does it hurt?"

"Only the first time…and only for an instant. Once the ink bottle has been opened, it is much easier for the quill to get to the ink." She smiled at Ginny.

Ginny furrowed her brow and asked, "But Mum, sometimes you really have to…er…force the quill through the seal. You know, sometimes they just won’t open!"

"Good point." Molly said. "And what happens in those cases, when you try too hard to get the quill through the seal?"

"Well, I usually end up getting through, but I spill ink all over the place."

Molly nodded. "Precisely. It’s a mess. I know it can’t be avoided with real quills and ink bottles…but Ginny, promise me you will never let anyone force you into breaking your seal."

Ginny smiled and promised. Molly wanted to end on a good note, so she went on to her final point. "Now, Ginny, I don’t want to frighten you away from all this. I just want you to know the truth and be prepared. Do you remember the first time you tried writing with a quill?" Ginny nodded and let Molly finish. "You were very sloppy, weren’t you? Well, that’s how it is for most people. But once you get the hang of it, and you find the perfect quill for yourself, you can create some beautiful writing! You can go on to create magnificent things!"

"Like other quills and ink bottles," Ginny said matter-of-factly.

Molly laughed, "Oh please! Not until you’re much older!"

"Don’t worry, Mum. Harry and I have a long way yet before that." Now Ginny laughed.

"Well, I hope so. You both are still very young," Molly said in her most motherly voice. But there was something else she really wanted to know. "May I ask…has he kissed you?"

Ginny’s face went scarlet and she smiled shyly. "Sort of. He kissed my cheek before we got off the train."

Molly’s heart beat faster, feeling her daughter’s happiness. "Well, Ginny, that’s just how he should kiss you right now."

"I know." Molly kissed Ginny’s forehead and stood up, ready to leave. Before she reached the door, however, Ginny called to her with one last question. "Mum…did you talk to all the boys about this?"

"No, dear, but your father did."

"Well…do you suppose that…Harry…has had a talk like this?" Ginny stammered.

"I don’t know, dear. If it will make you feel better, I can have your father…"

"NO!" Ginny stopped her. "That’s okay. I was just wondering…"

Molly nodded and left the room. She glanced back at Ginny as she went back to lying on her bed, reading Harry’s letter. Little did they know that Harry had already suffered through the talk with his godfather earlier in the year.

"All I can tell you, Harry, is DON'T do what I did! You’re friends will never let you live it down!"

Continued in Quidditch Anyone?

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The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For questions, please send us an Owl!

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