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Felicia Fletwock

All the trees of the field will clap their hands

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Felicia Fletwock

Fe was in a tree, an unsturdy oak with brittle branches which she was methodically snapping and tossing like darts at the trunk. Pick pick pick. It wasn’t satisfying, but it was the only tree with low enough branches for her to climb when she was feeling so burnt out and lazy and bitter.

 

She’d invited Molly, casually, at breakfast, saying that she was skiving off class (the first time, actually, that whole miserable semester, which explained part of why she was so grouchy), but her best friend hadn’t shown up yet – probably because she was a nerd and had gone to class. Fe couldn’t find room for any more bitterness in her skinny body so she didn’t bother getting mad at Molly, and instead waited for her with something like patience. Besides: the two had just made up and Felicia really couldn’t bear losing her friend again, especially not when she was already so unhappy.

 

The sticks’ inability to penetrate the thick bark of their own home body frustrated the redhead to the point of pulling out her wand and enchanting an entire pile of them to be speedy and sharp. It was when she had gotten into a groove of violent wand-swishing that turned the twigs arrowlike, strong enough to stick hard into the trunk (it was quenching, it was like a purge) like it was a bullseye, that Molly appeared below her. Fe grinned big, any trace of her torment largely dissipated.

 

“Up here!” she called from her perch up high, readjusting her legs so the bark stopped biting into her thigh skin.

 

The oak was porcupined with its own quills. The sky was steel wool; snow had started to fall.

Edited by Felicia Fletwock

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Molly Stone

There were very few people Molly would consider skipping class for—especially when the Professors were acting as if this was their OWL year—but Felicia Fletwock was one of them. Elated Fe was talking to her again, Molly didn’t dare do something that may mess it up. Potions class was extremely important, however, and it pained her to think of all the hours of sleep she’d lose if she missed the whole lesson.  In the end, she settled on a compromise of sorts: she’d go to class, but slip out early.

 

Upon escaping the dungeons, she sprinted up to the common room and haphazardly shoved her books into a drawer then pulled on a too-small, holey jacket she’d had for years. By the time she got outside, she realized the coat wasn’t near enough. The grounds glistened, and giant flakes of snow fell in heaps. She had no hood: the flakes twisted with her dark hair, the white sharp against brown. Still, Molly plodded forward, pace quick, ignoring how her cheeks stung red, how the snow melted through her boots and socks and numbed her toes.

 

A grin blossomed when she spotted Fe perched in a tree, shooting sticks through the trunk like arrows, with a force Molly was certain even her strongest mates back in Enfield couldn’t manage—sure enough, she spotted the wand and a chuckle bubbled up her throat. She felt suddenly warm, and forgot her limbs were iced with chill.

 

“Hang on!” Molly called up, grinning at her own pun. As a seasoned tree-climber, she was quick to spot a low branch and lodge herself up, until she was sitting right beside her friend, the bulk of her jacket pressed into Fe’s arm. Warm breath steamed the air.

 

“It’s not that I disapprove or anything. In fact, it looks like you’ve invented a wicked game and I’d love to play.” Molly promptly snapped a twig and twirled it in her fingers, vaguely realizing she really should’ve worn gloves. “—but is there a reason you’re stabbing this tree as if it worships Dax Gordon?” She eyed Fe searchingly, noting the trace of weariness in her freckled skin. She was grinning wide, but in a way that was fresh, as if it was her first grin of the day. “Is everything alright?”

 

Molly pulled her own wand out and enchanted her stick, but instead of targeting the poor oak, she swung her wand and aimed for a distant elm. The twig shot through the air and landed right in the center of her target. She grinned: “Bullseye.”

Edited by Molly Stone

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