It was a glorious spring morning -- the heather was beginning to blossom, the bees were waking up, and the gardens beckoned. Spike picked up a cherrywood single wand and her Charms homework, going outside to work al fresco. A parchment on a much loved person, to keep them close to you no matter the distance between you.
Sitting under a tree in the dappled shade, she thought back to an earlier time back home, sitting with her father's mother in the little gazebo she favored, under the vines in the back garden. The area had been charmed with warmth, to keep it clear from snow even in the deepest winters. It was always spring in Babushka's garden, she mused, the soft living heart of Schadelthron, tucked deep in the ribs of stone.
She had been a renowned witch of the single wand school of magic, turning her skills from enormous coverlets that stayed warm in the draftiest, drabbest seasons to cunning dolls and toys that tumbled and bounced in Spike's hands. That was a wonderful day, when I was able to show her that I had learned a little of the single wand magic myself. We sat together in the gazebo, casting together. She was working a complex Transfiguration, changing and vanishing it piece by piece, and I . . . I was doing Charms, wasn't I? A simple charm, but with lightness to it.
Spike peered at the fiery heart that burned in the center of the parchment, with its Slytherin green surround. Much like this one. Her hands worked automatically, surrounding the center with a lattice that recalled the boards of the gazebo.
I inherited her parchments and notes when she went beyond the veil, along with many of her tools. She held up the wand, squinting at it. In fact, this was one . . . For a moment, she could feel the older woman's soft, wrinkled, tissue-paper hand in hers.