The Sugar Quill
Author: Scribe2 (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Locus Liberi  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.

Locus Liberi *Author's note: This is a short fic I wrote during school. I'm on my High School's Literary Magazine staff and decided that Hogwarts school needed to have one as well! Since I'm a blatant lover of the MWP&P generation, I came up with a way to stick them in there (as usual). This is one of my really old Harry Potter fics--I literally had to dig it out from the depths of the HJP Forum--so my style is a little…raw and underdeveloped. Thank you to Scribbie, Katirose, and the Harry James Potter (Well, Harry Potter Connection when this was written) Forum for your encouragement and constructive criticism, especially Persephone, Trisha, Gengi, and Callie, and, as always, to my Beta reader.

Locus Liberi
(Place of the Book)

"Literary Magazine?" Ron asked incredulously, gazing at the sheaf of parchment on his desk. Professor McGonagall paced before the class, waiting for everyone to finish reading, her jaw set more firmly than usual, every strand of black hair in perfect placement, pulled so tightly into a bun that her eyes seemed rather inclined towards her ears. She seemed to like the idea less than Ron.

"Oooh," said Hermione. "A literary magazine! All sorts of things could go in there!" She raised her hand and looked pointedly at Professor McGonagall.

Harry saw Ron roll his eyes and lean close to Hermione's ear. "Sorry, Hermione; I don't think they allow forty-page essays on the ten uses of dragon's blood and their effects on the wizarding economy," he whispered.

Harry smirked; Hermione scowled and elbowed Ron in the ribs.

"Yes, Granger?" Professor McGonagall inquired.

Hermione dropped her hand and sat up straighter. "Yes, I was wondering if you have copies of a past literary magazine on file in the library."

"Certainly, Granger," Professor McGonagall responded, her chin slightly in the air as if her tightly bound bun was a weight on the back of her head. "In fact, I have several copies of past magazines here." She lifted a stack of black-bound books from her desk, each bearing the Hogwarts coat of arms bisected diagonally by a silver quill. Above the coat of arms, printed in golden letters was "Locus Liberi," and beneath the seal, a date.

With a heavy clunk, Professor McGonagall dropped the books onto the nearest student's desk. "Pass these around, and peruse them to get an idea of the kind of things we're looking for."

A book made its way back to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. "I think the magazine is only published every five years," Hermione prattled to Harry and Ron. "It's too bad it only runs once in our time here. Some students are lucky enough to get it twice."

"Lucky?" Snorted Ron. Harry wondered if he should interrupt before another fight started. "I don't think that...oh, look--Quidditch literature! Assorted Haikus by this year's teams." Ron shrugged. "Let's have a look, shall we?"

Harry gazed at the pages as Ron flipped through; moving photographs, poetry that blossomed in the shape of a flower and wilted as each new line was added, and even stories that read themselves.

"Ah, here we are," stated Ron, and the three of them looked on.

Soaring through the air
Vision suddenly turns red
A Bludger
flies on. ~Angela Weasley, Hufflepuff keeper

Red and black and blue
Gryffindor-v.-Ravenclaw
I don't mean our robes. ~Presea Thomps, Ravenclaw Seeker

Exhilaration!
And now the game is over
Wait, that's not a Snitch ... ~Remus Lupin, Gryffindor Seeker

Pretty girl in stands
I sail into the goalpost
I meant to do that. ~James Potter, Gryffindor Chaser

Monetary pride
we all got new shooting stars
Pity we can't fly. ~Anonymous

Fly! Fly like the wind!


That Seeker can really go!
His tail's on fire. ~Aramus Tilk, Slytherin chaser

A roar from the crowd?


I feel electrocuted
wait, it was thunder. ~Demetrius Green, Hufflepuff chaser

Beauty of the wind
The World is frozen in ice
We fly like snow-men. ~James Potter, Gryffindor Chaser

Even though I lost
They need not hang me from here
I'm afraid of heights. ~Kevellan Korwin, Slytherin seeker

And now a reprieve for some inspirational poetry by three of our favorite Gryffindors.

Sirius Black, Referee
1,2,3,4,5,6,7
All good chasers go to heaven
7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Beaters always get the fun
a,b,c,d,e,f,g
All the keepers get in free
g,f,e,d,c,b,a
Too bad seekers never play.

Remus Lupin, Seeker
The Reply
7,5,3,4,6,1,2
Chasers don't always fly true
2,6,3,7,4,1,5
Beaters barely stay alive
b,g,c,f,d,a,e
keeps and seekers cannot flee
c,a,b,e,g,d,f
Too bad no one likes the ref.

James Potter, Chaser
Seekers always hover, refs are never nice
That poem isn't good enough for you to write it twice!

Sirius Black
Death of a Seeker
Floating a dot
Falling a dot

Remus Lupin
The Ref's Demise
Was a mess
Bigger mess

Due to the violence portrayed in the remaining poetry,
we cannot condone the publishing of seek and referee.
~Agatha Arlian, Hufflepuff.

Harry was doubled over laughing, but also feeling slightly nauseous. He, Ron and Hermione had somehow managed to get the book that was written in the year his father, Sirius, and Professor Lupin had attended Hogwarts. The book was precious, a relic from his father's day. It was something that his father had helped to create, and Harry wanted to read every word over a thousand times.

After class Harry told Hermione and Ron to go on ahead, he'd meet them in the Great Hall for lunch. As soon as the last student had cleared the room, Harry walked tentatively up to Professor McGonagall's desk, the book clutched gently beneath his arm. "Yes, Potter?" She said, regarding him imperiously through her square glasses.

Harry cleared his throat, "I was just wondering if...er, if there is an extra copy of this magazine that I could have. You see I...I found something in there of my dad's--that he had written--and I sort of wanted to..." He trailed off at the doubtful look on McGonagall's face.

"I'm sorry, Potter, there are no other copies, " She said, shaking her head, eyebrows drawing together sadly.

Harry's hopes plummeted. "Oh," he said. "Alright then. Thanks anyway, Professor. " With that, he slid the book back onto the stack of other magazines now piled on Professor McGonagall's desk.

Harry tried to be cheerful during dinner, but he found it difficult to continue to smile. "It isn't like you can't go read it in the library," Hermione said sympathetically. "I'm sure they keep them on file somewhere." Harry forced a smile. Hermione was right, he could visit it in the library, but it wasn't the same. The book wasn't his. He wouldn't be able to take it with him when he graduated in two years. He sighed and took a large gulp of pumpkin juice. An idea struck him and he turned to Hermione, “Isn’t there some way to make a magical copy?” Hermione shrugged, “Of course there is, but not from anything in the school. There are spells on all the books to ensure that students can’t just copy things from books. They don’t want them to plagiarize in essays.”

That evening Harry left Hermione and Ron in the common room doing their homework. He had an insatiable urge to open his trunk and dig out the album of photos of his mother and father. He had just tossed his cloak onto his bed when he saw something glint near his pillow. Curiously he stood and bent over. There was a sheaf of parchment folded over, his name written on it in green ink. Beneath it was the black cover of a literary magazine, its emblazoned silver quill glittering in the dim light. With shaking hands, Harry lifted the note.

Harry,
This is a copy of the magazine
about which you addressed me today after class. I could not come across an extra copy, and there has to be one on file for future reference at the library. This was my personal copy, and I expect you to treat it with the same respect that I have for so many years. I am giving this to you. Each year of the magazine I asked the students who participated to sign it. I am sure you shall find your father's signature, as well as your mother's and several others you may recognize.
Sincerely,
Prof. M. McGonagal

Harry stood, awestruck for a moment before folding the letter and tucking it under the corner of his pillow. He hesitated only a moment and lifted the magazine into his arms and flipped the front cover. He scanned the many signatures and notes written to the teacher, searching for a familiar name.

Professor McGonagal, Been a great year! Sorry about that bludger thing, and I hope you enjoy all of the wonderful "literature." Remember: When in doubt, blame Sirius.
~James Potter

My lovely Professor McGonagal,
I cannot fully recount how beautiful you looked today in your red robes and ivy hat! The words are too beautiful for my uncouth mind to fathom. They stall in my quill at the very thought of your resplendent…okay, I figured that wouldn't get me out of trouble, but it was worth a shot, right? See you next year!
Love,
~Sirius Black

Professor McGonagal,
Another year is almost over, and it feels like I've got double duty signing both the yearbooks and these dratted magazines! Well, I guess the magazines are okay, if you like amateur poetry like Sirius'. Hah, just kidding!
Love,
~Remus Lupin

Harry smiled and flipped to the table of contents again, reading through all of the submission titles and their authors. There were many names unfamiliar, and the precious few that he recognized. Besides the Quidditch literature, his father had written a short story, Sirius had written a series of Odes, and Lupin a poem. But towards the end of the book he spotted another name...one that he was sure belonged to his mother--Lily Evans.

My mother's signature, Harry thought, flipping back to the autograph page and finding the corresponding name, gingerly brushing his fingers along the deep purple writing. Does that mean she’s written something in here? Harry hesitated, still regarding the purple writing of his mother. What if it isn't her, he thought. I don't even know her maiden name, and there may have been other Lilys. He sighed and briefly wondered why his hands were shaking.

Flipping open the cover of the black-bound book, Harry found the table of contents he and his friends had been looking at earlier that day. Only this one was marked in a familiar green handwriting. Professor McGonagal had starred her favorite excerpts. He perused the list of authors for his mother's name.

To his dismay, Harry discovered that there had been two Lilys at Hogwarts in the year the magazine was published, and both had submitted to the magazine. Lily Lovecrest and Lily Evans. Harry strained to remember his mother’s maiden name…it would have been the same as Aunt Petunia’s, but then he’d never really paid aunt Petunia. Harry didn't want to make a guess at which one was his mother--he would have felt awful if he'd found he was wrong years later. Harry decided to read both entries, and flipped to the nearest one, by Lily Lovecrest.

It was a poem, written in blue, and shimmering slightly, like the ocean.

Rain

It whispers through the window
Past the curtain and the shade
Hanging in the graying air
And blanketing the lake
It's the coolness in the morning
The chill against your skin
It brings you home at nighttime
Makes you glad that you're within
It embraces all that's standing
The mother of the dew
In shades of gray and white and silver
The world is born anew

Harry felt nothing as he read the poem. He had expected a glimmer of recognition, something that told him that this was his mother. However, nothing came, and Harry would have to rely on his instinct if he wanted to find out who his mother was. He supposed that if he couldn't figure out which Lily was the girl who would become Lily Potter on his own, then he would have to ask Professor McGonagal. Harry shook his head, hoping fiercely that he wouldn't have to do that--he didn't want to admit to anyone his lack of knowledge about his own family members.

As he turned to the next entry, by Lily Evans, he prayed silently for something to help him.

The next entry was a free-verse poem, and quite a long one. It was written quite normally, with nothing flashy, but professor McGonagal had written something that Harry couldn't read at the top corner of the page. Below that was another note, written in slightly messy, but familiar, handwriting. He had seen that handwriting before, on the Marauders' Map, and in the front cover of that same book.

Lil, this is very nice! I love the abstractness, but then that isn't really a surprise is it. Whoops, I just realized that this isn't your magazine...sorry, Professor McGonagal! ~James Potter

Harry had to laugh--it had been an accident on his father's part, but it had turned out to be a good mistake. Now, Harry had another message from his father...and the answer to his question. He was sure now--Lily Evans had to be his mother. Steadying his still slightly shaking hands, Harry moved to sit on his bed and draped himself across it to read his mother's poem.

Who of Me
By Lily Evans

Who of me is me
And who of me is not
Is there any indication
To those looking on with enrapt eyes
Days creep slowly by
But some flash on ahead
The come back to haunt me
And I wonder if I was ever there
If that person who says things
I wish I'd never said
Is really me
Or someone else
Could it be that I was dreaming
That the day I don't remember
Whether I was myself or not
Was only imagined
By someone who is not me
By someone who shares my thoughts
That phantom in my memories
Is someone else
And I'll never know
Whether I am me right now
Or her
Because we are so alike
And so different
And we share each other
So secretly
That the bind is indiscernible
I still can't tell
Who of me is me
And who of me is not
Can anyone outside see
When I am me and when I am her
Or is there a phantom in them too
Maybe
Every person is themselves
And also someone else
But no one can tell
And no one realizes
Because every person changes
At exactly
The same time
And everyone is asking
Who of me is me
And who of me is not?

 

Harry didn't realize that he had been holding his breath until a hiccup forced him to expel it. His breath shuddered as it left his lungs, and only by the tightness on his face and the slight dampness of his bedspread beneath his hands, did he realize that he was crying. They weren't tears of pain or tears of sadness; but an unnamed, irrepressible emotion so intense that it forced a physical release. He closed the book, unable to continue for the tears that blurred his vision.

He slipped off the bed and trudged to the chest at the end of his bed, lifting the lid and placing the precious item beneath his invisibility cloak, right on top of the photo album of his parents.

All he could do after that was crawl into bed, too choked with emotion to think or do anything but sleep…

Originally, this story was longer, but that was mostly because the HJP Forum kept on bugging me for more! ;) I'm just kidding, I love you guys! Anyway, I decided that no more was really needed, and I like the ending where it is. More Harry than anyone else; I don't write enough about him. You may notice that some of the Haiku in this version are slightly different from the later versions, also published on Sugar Quill. Oh, and Demetrius Green is the creation of Persephone (drummer girl), and a smashing character he is! ~Scribe

 

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