The Sugar Quill
Author: Trewyn Potter  Story: A Beginning  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.

10-18-01, revised

Rated PG-13, for absolutely no reason. Well, only cause all my other work is PG-13. This is a little ditty I wrote about my little shipping. No slash or anything. Toads rock!!

Disclaimer - no es mia, es suya.

***

A dim light crept through the clouds, and in through the windows of the Hufflepuff fifth year dormitory. Eloise Midgen sat up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She pulled open the thick, yellow curtains of her ebony bed, and walked over towards the window. The room was empty; Hannah and the others had already headed downstairs. Eloise looked out onto the Hogwarts grounds, taking in the rainy, cool air and cloudy sky. A typical day for October and the first Hogsmeade visit of the year. Blinking herself awake, she pulled a robe around herself, and walked semi-consciously to the bathroom.

Shower, soap, hair charms, her standard morning routine went by as she slowly awakened, and stepped out of the steamy shower. The quiet of the dormitory was wonderful when the other girls were already downstairs. Not that she didn't get along with Hannah, she was practically Eloise's best friend, it was just that she never shut her mouth. Pointing her wand at the steamed up mirror, Eloise muttered a de-fogging charm, breaking the glass, instead.

"Oops, reparo." The glass mended itself, as the fog disappeared naturally.

"Really, Eloise. You do that every morning."

"Sorry," she said to the mirror, which chuckled in reply. Her reflection stared back at her. She liked her hair, which was straight, but thick, and a pretty shade of dark brown, with eyes that matched it perfectly. Together, her hair and eyes managed to some degree to take the focus off her off-centered nose. Remembering the memorable day in fourth year, when, tired of her acne, she had tried to curse it off, Eloise shuddered. It was too bad, she thought. Without the acne, she would have quite liked her face, had it not been for the bizarre nose. She charmed her hair dry, managing this time to not turn it bright pink, and pulled the lot of it into a ponytail. Sighing, she pointed the wand at her nose, and opened her mouth.

"Oh, no you don't, miss! You know what happened last time!" the mirror shouted at her, and Eloise dropped her wand.

"Just one little charm?"

"Absolute not! You look fine. Go on and get dressed, then, dear."

Trying to be cheerful, she smiled brightly into the mirror. and walked back into her room. She could wear whatever she wanted today. Trading in her typical black school robes for Muggle jeans and a tee-shirt, covered, of course, by her favorite light blue robe, she walked over to the tank where Trewyn, her pet toad, slept.

"Morning, Tre!" she said, brightly, as she lowered a cricket into the tank. The toad ate the cricket voraciously, and gulped, making Eloise laughed. She lifted the funny animal up, slipping her into her pocket; she never went anywhere without her toad. This done, she walked down to breakfast.

"Where've you been?" asked Hannah, between bites of a muffin at the Hufflepuff table.

"Upstairs, I slept late." She said, with a yawn.

"Oh, good then. I really can't wait until the Hogsmeade trip today, it's going to be so much fun, I want to go to Honeydukes, I'm running a teeny bit low on Bertie Bott's!"

"Mm." Said Eloise, disinterestedly. She swiveled around to the Gryffindor table, where there was suddenly a great explosion noise. It appeared that those two redhead twins had done something again, most likely something terribly illegal. Sure enough, Neville Longbottom was now floating helplessly up above the table, amid gales of laughter. She frowned. It was really quite mean of them.

"Gryffindors." Sighed Ernie, who was sitting next to his girlfriend, Hannah. The table shared a murmur of agreement. A little worried for Neville, Eloise turned around, to see him floating safely down, apparently grinning. She turned back to her toast, and discussion about candy.

Two hours later, Eloise found herself walking quickly into the Three Broomsticks, pulling her cloak tightly around herself, trying to keep a bulging bag of candy from bursting open at the same time as she was trying to subdue an increasingly rebellious toad in her pocket.

"I'll get the drinks," she offered, in a hurry to get a taste of the warming butterbeer. The others nodded, happily as they took out their candy. Eloise made here way up through the crowded pub, to the counter.

"Five butterbeers," she called, to a flustered looking Madame Rosmerta, who nodded, and conjured cups. While waiting, she lifted Trewyn out of her pocket to have a look around the surroundings.

"Trevor!" she heard a voice call. She turned around, trying to find the source of the voice, hitting a short boy who resembled a teddy bear, and sending her and the boy to the ground. Trewyn hopped onto Eloise's' shoulder, gulping toadishly.

"Sorry," said the boy, quickly, as he helped pick up Eloise's' fallen candy. He looked up, and saw the toad on Eloise's shoulder.

"Trevor!" The boy grabbed at the toad.

"Trewyn, you mean." Said Eloise, gathering the last of her candy. The boy blushed, and Eloise suddenly connected his face to the name Neville Longbottom. Recalling his unpleasant experience at breakfast, she smiled benevolently, scooping up Trewyn the toad in one hand, and extending her other for a handshake.

"Eloise Midgen, I'm sorry, I wasn't looking, who were you looking for?"

"Trevor, he's my toad, I thought yours was mine, I'm Neville Longbottom, I think it was probably my fault,"

"No problem!" said Eloise, smiling at the red flush in Neville's face. He smiled, somewhat awkwardly, in turn.

"Is that your toad?" asked Eloise, suddenly noticing a small, brownish green toad hopping over her feet.

"Oh, yes." Neville bent down, and scooped up his toad, petting it on the head.

"Your butterbeers, miss." Eloise turned around, caught off guard by Madame Rosmerta's voice.

"Right, thank you. Well," she turned back to Neville.

"I guess I'll see you in herbology, then?"

"I suppose. Bye, then." Eloise nodded, and headed back towards her table.

"Wait!" shouted Neville, and Eloise turned, very nearly spilling her butterbeer.

"Erm, do you, erm, want to have a butterbeer with me?" Eloise smiled, Neville was turning a ridiculous shade of red. She thought for a second, before nodding.

"Sure!" They walked over to a table, and sat down, Eloise still holding her five butterbeers. The toads jumped out of their hands, and headed off in search of adventure, as Eloise took the first sip of her butterbeer. They sat in silence; sipping their warm drinks for a while, before Neville's brilliant red flush finally faded.

"Where's you get your toad?" he asked, glancing in the direction of where the two toads used to be. Eloise looked as well, sighing as she noted Trewyn's absence.

"Ugh, mine is always running off, my aunt gave her to me when I turned thirteen."

"Trevor always disappears too! It must be a toad thing, I guess." Eloise nodded, and took another sip. An awkward silence descended on the two, as Eloise swiveled her cup around.

"So," she said, stopping short. This was so typical of her, not to have anything to say.

"So…" replied Neville.

"Ellie!" Hannah Abbot was heading quickly over towards Eloise and Neville, looking scandalized.

"What happened to you brining butterbeer back, hmm?" Hannah put her hands on her hips, looking sternly down at Eloise.

"I was, uh, distracted?" sneaking a glance at Neville, Eloise ventured a smile. Neville returned it, and Eloise was surprised to feel a warmth totally unassociated with butterbeer flood her body.

"Yes, I see you were!" Hannah was looking increasingly amused, as she looked from Neville to Eloise, back and back again, biting in a smile.

"Well, I'll leave you, to it, then? We're leaving now, so hurry, a bit. " Grabbing three of the remaining Butterbeers, Hannah headed back to the table where the Hufflepuff group was sitting. Eloise smiled back at Neville, just as Trewyn the toad jumped back into her hand.

"Look. I have to go now, sorry. It was nice talking to you!" Neville gulped, and nodded, smiling.

"Can I meet you here, next Hogsmeade trip?" he muttered the words, and Eloise could barely hear him, but she got the point, and nodded.

"Sure! I'll look forward to it. There's your toad." Noticing Trevor, now sitting patiently on the table, Neville scooped the amphibian up, and stuffed him in his pocket.

"Thanks." Neville smiled, looking comfortable for the first time that night. Eloise stuck out her hand, and they shook, meeting each other's eyes, and smiling. It may not have been exactly magical, she thought, but it's a beginning.

//
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