Sunday, June 10, 2012

Best Friends Forever

The school had been buzzing for weeks about the upcoming field trip to Hogsmeade. Spike had made certain that her permission slip was signed weeks in advance, biting her nails as she watched Gwenhwyvar take to the air on silent wings. Waiting for the owl to come back, and unrolling the parchment with icy hands, half-certain that Atyets would have refused permission after hearing about the mishap with her advanced Astronomy studies.

Blessedly, he hadn't. His florid signature, an enormous swirl of loops and spikes decorated nearly a quarter of the page, centered vaguely about the signature line and obscuring it. She had slept with it under her pillow to be certain she knew where it was, packing it into her rucksack the next morning, even though her History of Magic class, where they would be taking an official school chaperoned trip into Hogsmeade, wasn't until later that week.

But they were meeting at Honeydukes! Writing a paper on History would be much less dull when there were sweets to consider. She had heard all term about Honeydukes from the upperclassmen, who could tour the village at their whim. The shelves that reached from below the floor to the top of the twenty-foot ceiling, lined with apothecary jars glimmering with sweets of every kind—honeycomb with cinnamon bees, Fizzing Whizbees, Acid Pops, saltwater taffy, Moondrops! Rolling ladders attached to the shelves so students could more closely examine the exotica placed high above eye level. Candied heads! Licorice allsorts! And now she was going to be able to go.

When she arrived it was everything she had dreamed of, and more, if possible. A riot of chocolate and color and scent. She wanted one of everything—maybe even all of everything! But she only had spending money for the term, and had to ration it carefully. But which one was the best?

She investigated carefully, prowling the shelves, rummaging through the bins, when she heard a noise. A tiny piping sort of noise, like a chick calling for its mother. *peep, peep*

She looked under the stack of yams, but nothing there. *peep, peep*

She moved a box of truffles made with real truffles. I could take some of these back as a bribe – I mean, gift for the Herbology professors. But her thought was interrupted by the tiny sound again.

Finally, she looked behind the dusty jars of whipped turnips. There were two tiny pastel beasties looking up at her with beady, lonely eyes. *peep peep* Soft and puffy.

“Awwww,” Spike breathed, picking them up to look at them more closely. They reminded her of her pet half-pony half-monkey riding beast, Frankie. They were clearly the last two of their kind left on the shelf, and just as clearly, they were lonely.

She thought for a moment, then pulled out her wand. “Engorgio!” They grew bigger, obedient to the laws of magic, from tiny mouthfuls to the size of her hand. “Certamen!” she hissed, and the two were welded together, eternal companions.

Neither one would ever be alone again. Spike nodded, pleased with herself for finding a simple solution to another’s problem. Who said her House was full of heartless people? She started to put them back on the shelf, and then a heavy hand fell on her shoulder. The proprietor, a round man with a face wreathed in smile lines, was not smiling now. In fact, he looked awfully stern.

Spike paid for the animals quickly, and was escorted from Honeyduke’s. She took the little animalcules back to the dorm with her, and made a home on her bookshelf for them, bunny and duck together.

Eventually, they stopped screaming.

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