The Queer Quill
Twisted from Harry Potter
“We have officially reached 500,000 readers,” a tall woman announced. Jubilance radiated from under her hair, which somewhat resembled a worn-out feather duster.
Gathered in front of the woman was a group of around 20 witches and wizards. Above them, hundreds of owls were flying through the air with multicolored magazines fastened to their claws. The applause from the group along with the clapping of wings cracked like thunder through the large room.
A thin, handsome wizard sporting a long cloak, in vivid swirls of different color, stood in the front of the group. “Marvelous,” he exclaimed as he walked up to the woman who had made the announcement and gave her a kiss on both cheeks.
He straightened his back and turned around to face the group. “As you all know, The Queer Quill has fought for the rights of many witches and wizards all over the world for 40 years now. I can still remember the days we rushed about my tiny flat to get our magazines out to our 50-odd readers. I can only thank all of you for your perseverance and hard work that got us to where we are today. Now,” he paused and smirked in the direction of a big, pale, dark-haired wizard, “Dolohov, I think this celebration calls for a few pints of butterbeer.” Dolohov laughed and Tom Riddle took in the group of people in front of him as they joined in conversation. He could not help but express his feelings of pride. He was the editor-in-chief of The Queer Quill, a weekly magazine that raised awareness of the LGBTQ+ rights of witches and wizards by providing the latest in LGBTQ+ news and happenings. The magazine had something to the likes of every witch or wizard, ranging from Matilda Mantelpiece’s weekly motivational article, “A Wand’s a Wand,” to Pippa Fondleberry’s hilariously quirky guide to gay relationships, “What to Do if You Have a Lover in Your Brew,” with a useful yet side-splitting tip every week.
For the next hour or so, Tom went around making conversation. He learned that Dolohov had asked his partner’s hand in marriage, and, along with everybody else, congratulated him with an off-key rendition of “A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love.” Charlie Knaggs recited his trademark joke of two aurors and a goblin—one that he would repeat to anybody unfortunate enough to come across him after he had had a few swigs of firewhiskey, which he hid, to everyone’s knowledge, underneath an old Chudley Cannons poster in his top right drawer. Tom nearly gave the floor a fresh coat of butterbeer as he tried to contain his laughter listening to Pippa Fondleberry’s unsightly ordeal with a Blast-Ended Skrewt that her nephew had somehow sneaked into the house during their Easter visit. With his eyes tearing from laughter, Tom finished his butterbeer and excused himself from the gathering. He had work to do.
Tom knew that he had to do something special for the following week’s issue. The Queer Quill had reached a milestone that would not pass by unheard of. As Tom walked to his office, he brainstormed a few ideas. He would definitely include a special article that he would write himself, and maybe he could even convince Albus Dumbledore to write an article as well. Albus Dumbledore had been one of the first readers of the magazine and was a good friend of Tom’s. Tom reached his office and took a seat in his chair—it, of course, sported all the colors of the rainbow. He immediately caught a glimpse of the picture on his desk. A man with an angular face waved back at him, smiling as he posed with a broomstick in hand.
It was his partner, Centennius Burke, the love of his life for 40 years. Centennius was an accomplished businessman—the largest broomstick manufacturer in the whole of Europe. The picture had been taken in front of his then-tiny shop and the broomstick he held was the first one he had made. Love filled Tom’s heart and thoughts of the magazine’s next issue drifted from his mind and was soon replaced by memories.
Tom relived the day he had met Centennius. He was back at Hogwarts on his way to one of Professor Slughorn’s classes. He was just at the library and had a burning question to ask the Professor. Tom could not even remember what he wanted to ask him. Horticulture maybe? He was rushing to get there, so he took a route that he knew to be short, and quiet. He ran up a flight of stairs and down a narrow corridor. He was going at a swift pace as he rounded a corner. He was in such a hurry that he did not notice the figure coming his way. They collided with a thump of heavy books as they hit the floor. Tom shot up and dusted off his cloak as he tried to gather his books. He reached for his copy of Advanced Potion Making—and so did the other person. Their hands met. Tom slowly raised his head. He was met with eyes the color of brilliant green emeralds. The boy in front of him had an angular face with perfectly sculpted cheekbones. His dark hair was cut short on the sides of his head, and the longer hair on top was messy as if he had just got out of bed.
Tom was not able to keep the wonderful thoughts away. “You know I love you,” Centennius whispered. Tom felt his heartbeat increase. He had only known Centennius for a few weeks, but he knew that he felt the same. “I, I love you too,” he whispered back to him. They were in the library. The OWLs were in full swing so the library was packed. Tom thought it a risky move exchanging their declarations of love but did not care much. He loved Centennius and had no interest in what the world had to say.
The rest of their time in school was magical. Tom and Centennius were inseparable. They spent countless hours on the grounds of Hogwarts together. They were always together at the library. It had turned out that they had both been fond of books, and were still to the day. They did everything together. They slipped out at nights to be together since Centennius was in Ravenclaw and Tom was in Slytherin. Everyone thought it was weird that a Slytherin and a Ravenclaw could be together and more so that they were both boys. Tom could not have cared less. And Tom knew that Centennius thought the same.
They were, of course, very fortunate to have Professor Albus Dumbledore on their side. He covered for them during the times that they snuck out, even allowing them a few minutes in his classroom at times when the halls were patrolled more thoroughly.He stood up for them whenever students threw hateful slurs their way. Professor Dumbledore had even jeopardized his post once by standing up to the headmaster
after he had told them that they were no longer to see each other.
Tom’s favorite memory flooded his mind. Their first kiss. Tom and Centennius were sitting under a large tree outside. It was sunny and cool. The grass waved effortlessly in the slight breeze. They were on the edge of the castle grounds. Here and there a bug moved. They were comparing their transfiguration homework. Through paging through a heavy textbook, and scribbling down notes, Tom sneaked a few peeks at Centennius. He did the same. They were writing something down from page 2137 when Centennius started closing the space between their faces. At first, Tom thought that he had something on his face, but he soon realized what was going to happen. Centennius’s lips were soft and perfect. Tom could not have asked for more.
Tom snapped out of his thoughts. Contentment crept through his body as he reached for his multicolored quill.