the pearl


His mother sent him a transistor radio for Christmas. No bigger than the palm of his hand, and perfect for sitting comfortably in the pocket of his robes as he went to the Christmas banquet.

In the great hall, crackers whizzing everywhere and great jugs of pumpkin juice and butterbeer being passed amongst the students, he told James and Lily about it, carefully pulling it out and showing to them without showing the rest of the hall.

Lily was unimpressed, saying that she had one just like it back home, but James looked at it with awe, gingerly stroking the black plastic casing with a single fingertip, as if daemons and monsters would jump from it at the slightest disturbance.

"Can we listen to it?" James asked, his eyes wide.

Lily frowned. "You'll be lucky to get any reception here — I'm sure that the magic around here will make it near-impossible."

Sirius shrugged. "Only one way to find out..." He looked at James with a glint in his eye. "Meet me on the roof after the party. We'll see what we can find..." He slipped the radio back into his pocket, and resumed eating.


It was cold on the roof — the sharp cold of clear nights, stars twinkling through thin wispy clouds overhead as they wrapped their cloaks tightly around them. Sirius swore under his breath and pulled his hand out of his pocket, the radio clasped tightly.

He quickly turned the little knob of the volume, clicking the radio on. The hiss of white noise went through the night sky like a winter's breeze, and Sirius frowned. "Maybe Lily was right...we might not get anything..."

James looked down at it. "Try, please?" He leaned in closer. "I want to see what happens."

Sirius shrugged, turning the knob for reception up and down the dial. There was the faintest hint of speech in various places — garbled words slipping through static, the occasional chord or two, but nothing was clear.

Sirius frowned in concentration, barely moving his fingers on the dial, when, suddenly, the static lifted, and guitars and singing rang through the empty night.

"So here it is...Merry Christmas...everybody's having fun..."

Sirius smiled. He looked up at James, who was grinning and looking down at the radio much in the way Sirius knew he had looked at his father when he first learned of wizards and magic. James caught his eyes and laughed. "What is it?" he asked.

Sirius laughed. "I don't know. Some Christmas song."

James laughed again and touched the speaker, feeling the vibrations echo from it. "It's amazing...and there's no magic at all?"

"None at all."

"And there are hundreds of these?"

Sirius laughed. "Thousands, I think. Millions."

"Millions!" James laughed and stood up, extending his arms out. "Millions of radios all over the world! Millions of radios playing Christmas music!" He laughed, leaning forward. "Millions of people who know nothing of magic and wizards and have tiny little radios playing them tiny little songs!"

"Hey, watch it!" Sirius said, grabbing onto James' robe and pulling him back. "You were about to fall!"

James leaned against Sirius, still laughing. "Millions of boys all over the world, listening to Christmas songs with their best friends." He looked up at Sirius. "And, maybe, just doing this..."

He straightened, a little, and tilted his head, pressing his lips next to Sirius's in a soft, tenative kiss. Sirius closed his eyes and returned the kiss, pulling James closer to him, the radio falling from his hand onto the softly packed snow on the roof, still playing the same song.

"Look to the future's only just begun..."

This Harry Potter story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at