The Hufflepuff Girl’s Dormitory was divided into five rooms.
particular morning, however, there was another room, at the end of the
dormitory corridor. Jill had informed Sparrow that it would be there,
and that she would be in it. Sparrow had taken some time to believe her
friend, but then she remembered a night about two years ago where
Catarina Quiddler had needed a place to sleep away from a rather abusive
ex, something that could last longer than a shield spell, and until
such time as the matter was sorted out there had been a sixth dorm room
that would open for none but her.
And here it was again. Sparrow
knocked on the door, and it opened silently, despite the fact that Jill,
already in her school robes, was kneeling with her face pressed against
the one tall window. The morning light cast a long shadow behind her. A
wide bed stood against the left-hand wall, a wardrobe stood beside it, a
chair sat against the opposite wall, a thickly-piled carpet lay between
them. That was all the room held.
Sparrow shut the door. “Are you…feeling okay?”
“Hm?” Jill looked back at Sparrow.
“I mean you don’t look exactly happy.”
Jill giggled. “I wanted to be kneeling all dramatically in front of the
window when you came in, but then I realized I could barely see out the
damn thing. So, I was just trying to peer through it.”
windowpane, as Sparrow now noticed, admitted all sunlight but offered
very little clue as to the view outside. Sparrow was not certain if the
shape outside the window was a dead tree or some manner of distant
“Maybe it is best not to ask,” said Sparrow.
“That’s a strange thing to hear coming from you,” said Jill.
“Let us say…I am learning my limits.”
“Ah, yes.” Jill stood, but remained staring at the window. “About that.”
remained at the door for a second, waiting for Jill to say something
else, to no avail. She gave up and sat down on the end of the bed, then
decided that it would be a far more fitting position if she sat in
Jill’s shadow on the carpet.
Still Jill did not speak.
called me here for some reason,” said Sparrow. “Are you going to let me
know what it is or will I be waiting here until breakfast? I know you’re
feeling like this is an important meeting but – ” She fell silent when
Jill turned around.
“I suppose you’re wondering,” said Jill, “Why
I’ve called you here this – oh hang it all, you look like some kind of
poor peasant praying to a god.” She sat with her back against the wall,
neck at the level of the windowsill, so that her head remained
silhouetted. “I can’t possibly talk to you in that position. And I bet I
just looked like a towering glowering grump anyway. And I’m still
silhouetted.” She moved to the side.
“Now you look like you’re a
mysterious muttering specter hiding in the shadows, waiting to offer
cynical cryptic clues to the idealistic hero.”
“You’re not far off
the mark,” said Jill. “But you’re still in the center of the rug so the
positioning is all weird. And you’re lit up in the sun like you’re a
sweet little angel.”
Sparrow put on an innocent look. “Am I not?”
“Bit of a contrast to your usual aloofness with other students, yes.”
Sparrow moved closer to the bed and out of the sunlight. “Better?”
“No. Drama’s ruined. Sorry.”
“Here’s an idea,” said Sparrow. “You sit on the bed and I’ll – ”
“Sit on the bed with me? Little too lovey-dovey for my tastes right now, thank you.”
Sparrow huffed. “I was going to say, you sit on the bed and I’ll sit here in the sunlight because I like it.”
flopped down on the bed and rolled herself over to lay supine, dangling
her arms over the end and hanging her head, while Sparrow moved back to
the center of the rug.
“Are you feeling okay?”
you?” said Jill. “Now? Never mind. Forget it. I can’t even tell you now
and I can’t tell Jocasta eith – Dammit.” She put her hands over her
scalp. “The beans, they have been spilled.”
“So you wanted to talk about dating,” said Sparrow. “That’s what this is about.”
“You’re missing me?”
“I still have you,” said Jill. “I don’t have your kisses. But, that’s by my request.”
“Are you…disappointed I’m dating Jocasta?”
Jill said nothing.
“Take a wild guess.”
time,” said Sparrow. “Let me see. I think it’s because…it means I’m
getting involved with your arch-rival, influenced by her, enough to
start thinking I want to be an Animagus after all – ah, I remember what I
wanted to ask you about! I never did get an indication of what you
thought of that business.”
“I would find it highly amusing to
accomplish,” said Jill. “I would consider it a mighty challenge. Highly
tempting. But I think you’re stalling.”
“Oh, I don’t know what you – ”
about the situation from my perspective.” Jill moved back on the bed
and propped her head on her arms. “From the beginning of the school
year. We get to school, run straight at each other through the Great
Hall and hugs and kisses and oh it’s a grand day to see you again. And
you even manage to hold yourself back from mentioning the Statute of
Secrecy that day, just for me, like you used to do much better.”
“The best day of the year is the day I get to see you again.”
“And I always feel the same.”
Sparrow beamed, enough to nearly add more sunlight to the room.
at that point, I’ve been working up the nerve for months to finally
tell you about my feelings for you. But I wait. Just to make sure you’re
settled in at Hogwarts before I hit you with something big.”
“You mean besides your arms?”
“You know what I mean. But then oh, Jocasta Carrow shows up and – ”
“And you’re reminded that you also want to date her.”
not entirely a wild guess,” said Sparrow. She stroked her chin. “I’m
thinking, you know, if your style of love is to build up to intimacy out
of long-established close personal connections, such as with moi…you’ve
dueled with Jocasta since First Year, right? Talked to her after
matches, seen her now and then, looked forward to seeing her, missed her
when she was gone, maybe a little more than you expected…am I on the
“Pretty damn close.”
“And the fact that you
totally ditched me from mid-September onwards, and then again later…I
know you feel things deeply, deeper than I do. You take stuff seriously.
Especially your promises. You never broke a promise that you made to me
“Oh yes I did,” said Jill. “That one time in First year I
said I’d get you a real ball point pen, and I never did. Hang on.” She
fished around in her sleeve. “Here, have a ball point pen.” She tossed a
cheap plastic clicker pen at Sparrow.
“That just illustrates my
point,” said Sparrow. “You care a whole hell of a lot about stuff.
Enough to remember an idle promise from years and years ago. So when you
tell me you’ve been desperate to hold me safe in your arms, I know
you’re telling me the truth. But then in September, you ditch me once
when Jocasta was around – ”
“If we’re talking about the incident with the bag of flour, I figured you were fine as long as Cormac was there.”
said Sparrow. “Now we’re getting to my point. You think as long as
you’re not leaving me totally alone, you’re not breaking your vow. Yes?”
“I…hadn’t thought of it that way.”
have to be surface thoughts. Just a matter of reflex. Last year at the
end of the school year you would barely let me out of your arms. So if
you are able to ditch me, it has to be a situation where you
automatically assume I’ll be okay. Right? So you ditch me once, Cormac’s
there, you ditch me again at the dining table, Cormac’s there, but then
– ooh, the third time is different. Third time is after you made your feelings clear. After
you made a promise explicit. I take you to see Miranda up on the
walkway, and oh no, Jocasta’s there, your sworn nemesis! You’d think
that would be a perfect time to fight for my safety, but no, you still ditch me, because – here’s the point – there’s a part of you that trusts her enough to leave me in her company.”
A room with a closed window and a closed door had no opportunity to let wind fill the silence.
“Am I right?”
“Ahem,” said Jill. “I’d say you’re getting better at considering how other people think.”
“Why thank you – ”
“And it’s tempting to make fun of you for overblowing the whole ‘sworn enemy’ thing.”
Sparrow frowned. “She isn’t your sworn enemy?”
“I have always felt safe around her. She makes me feel safe.”
tilted her head in puzzlement. “You? Feel – what could possibly imperil
the mighty Jillian Patil, strong as a roaring ox, solid as a mountain?”
Jill looked away. “Let me clarify. She makes me feel like I can be a safe person.”
“Um – ”
as you do. Just…in a different way. How could I possibly explain – oh, I
have an idea.” Jill rolled off the bed and went over to stand before
the window. “Come here.”
For a moment, Sparrow did not move, nor
dare to speak. For Jill’s silhouette filled the window frame, a
silhouette of a height and size that would set the weak to whimpering,
and have bold heroes loosening their swords in their sheathes. Sparrow
stood, in the shadow of that awesome presence, and stepped forward.
“Ready your wand.”
“If I do explode in flame, I don’t want you to be caught off-guard.”
took her wand from her pocket. She held it in both hands close at her
solar plexus, pointed straight upright in the ready-rest position of
dueling. She would not point it at Jill. Not even if Jill asked.
“And now,” said Jill, “just for a moment, I will give in.”
the next moment, where Jill’s face had been a black blankness, Sparrow
could see two glowing lines of red, highlighting the line of the girl’s
And then they opened. And what shone there was not
a human eye as anyone would know it, not an eye as anyone would know
it, neither pupil nor iris nor sclera, nothing but bright glowing red,
the glow of iron just before it melted. The glow of lava as it burst
from the earth. The glow of a firestorm on the horizon. Of all colors on
the earth, that was the color of fury.
And in the back of her
mind, Sparrow heard something. Faint, remote, indistinct, as if down a
long hallway. As if two people were on the other side of a door that was
down a long hallway, so that one could hear no clear part of what they
were saying -- but could hear the utter fury of their argument. Whatever
that voice was, whatever it was saying, it was the voice of rage
Sparrow's eyes were fixed upon Jill's firey gaze.
But something below that gaze caught her attention. A subtle twitch of
movement. Sparrow glanced down. Jill's hand was trembling as she held
Sparrow readied herself to cast a shield around her
friend, wondering if any shield she made could possibly hold against the
fire that Jill would unleash. Her own hand trembled.
But in the next moment, the trembling ceased. Jill’s glowing eyes became glowing lines once more, and then the glow faded.
“Is that what it is?” said Sparrow. “Is my dear friend a demon?”
are times,” said Jill, “when I call myself such a thing. Moments when I
am alone. When I forget to avoid it, when I take pleasure in tearing
myself down. Not good times. The last semester was a spiral of mental
injury I inflicted against myself. But, no, I would not say there are
literal demons in my family tree.”
“Then where does the glow come from?”
“Bad memories. All I can give you is a hint. Tell me, are you terrified?”
Sparrow shook her head.
“Then step closer.”
Sparrow moved to stand directly before Jill, saying nothing, head filled with questions.
“Now,” said Jill. “Look into my eyes.”
of Sparrow’s questions fled away as Jill bent down to put her face
right up to Sparrow’s, locking eyes with her. “Look,” said Jill. “I mean
look. What do you see?”
At first, Sparrow saw nothing,
nothing but the depth of pupils. But then she noticed – faintly,
possibly, she saw a curious flicker in the way those eyes shone – a
flicker that felt oddly familiar.
Jill blinked. The flicker
disappeared. But then in a second, it was there again. Sparrow looked
into the depths of Jill’s eyes, and in that space, where she expected
nothing – there she saw movement, dim and shapeless as if she saw it in a
mirror in a darkened room. Movement like flame.
“Sparrow. Tell me what you see.”
burns within you. My God, Jill. How long? How long has it been burning?
How many years have you been desperately holding yourself together?”
"Enough to leave its mark on my eyes. What do you think happens if I let that fire out all at once?"
would get killed. No. Many people would be killed. Possibly before they
even knew what was happening. Jesus fucking Christ, Jill. Have you
never seen a counselor? In the Wizarding world? Or the Muggle one?"
want to expose them to any danger." Jill straightened up, and went back
to the bed, resuming her supine position. Sparrow remained standing
before the window, wishing she could see anything out of it to lighten
the mood. But as ever, there was nothing. She took her place back on the
carpet and rested her chin in her hands.
After a few moments of silence, she said, “Does the dueling club serve as a safe outlet?”
“Could be,” said Jill. “But think of it this way. Do you remember Finny Wambsgans?”
“The guy who you almost vaporized – oh. Yes. And then Jocasta jumped in and deflected the fireball like it was nothing.”
“And has she ever lost a duel to me since?”
“I imagine she’d be minus an arm if she did.”
Jill pursed her lips.
“Sorry. Inappropriate joke. So Jocasta’s never lost a duel to you. Go on.”
“What do you think I might be thinking about her all the time?”
“That you…want her around to make sure you don’t kill someone?”
Jill shook her head.
like having her around because you know you won’t kill her by accident.
So you can relax around her the way you can relax around me. When
you’re normally wound as tight as a spring.”
“And there’s nobody else in the school who you feel like a safe person around? Nobody else who can endure your flames?”
shrugged. “Percival Bulstrode, maybe. He’s gotten real good at dueling.
So has his brother Maledictus. I think Lily Birch is completely
invulnerable to being burned after that one potions accident but that
wouldn’t save her from other spells. And, you know, none of them were
like that in First year. So, Jocasta was there first…and besides you I
didn’t make other friends. Couldn’t. So for a while Jocasta was the only
other person who I met on a regular basis, who I would stand to be
around, who seemed like…like they weren’t scared of me.”
“You were real chummy with George Peasegood last year,” said Sparrow.
“Because he had skin made of stone from that botched Animagus attempt,” said Jill.
“Oh yeah, I wondered why he looked slightly grey. I thought he was ill.”
was. The situation caused him all kinds of medical complications. Maybe
it was a little crass of me to take advantage of that? But all his
acquaintances kind of abandoned him because of how often he was stuck in
the hospital wing, so he had me, and…then his condition got better and
he wasn’t safe around me again so – I mean I didn’t totally abandon him,
we still write letters to each other – I’m not making myself look good
here am I? The point is, you can see why I came to depend on having
Jocasta around. Maybe too much. Way too much.”
“Did you tell her about any of this?”
exactly am I supposed to say that without sounding weird and obsessive,
even leaving out the part where I might accidentally melt someone?”
“Very diplomatically. So you’re saying you never told her?”
“Not really – ”
“Have you ever had a proper conversation with her?”
“Half a conversation?”
“We mostly talk dueling business when we meet.”
“So she might have some earthly idea what’s going on here, but it’s not very likely.”
you think she’s not scared of you. She doesn’t flinch away or anything?
No sudden back-off glares, looks of cold disdain…nothing like that?”
“She kissed me once last year.”
“Oh my God, Jill.”
“She snogs you and you think you have to hesitate about asking her out?”
was on the cheek! Once! I thought it was one of her dumb jokes! She’s
always joking about that kind of thing! She’s always going on like ‘oh
if I had to marry anyone it would be my mighty giant dueling wife’ and –
son of a bitch. Maybe she wasn’t joking.”
“Or,” said Sparrow,
“she was using jokes to deflect thoughts that she didn’t want to take
seriously. I think she did that to me over the past semester. Finally
worked up to taking it seriously. Ooh la la.”
“Well I had every
reason to believe Miss Prankster wasn’t being serious. I might have
asked her out sooner if I thought she took anything seriously, ever.
There were many times I felt a great disdain for her conflicting with my
attachment and I couldn’t muster the courage to get her to stop. So –
never had a real conversation.”
“Alright.” Sparrow lay back on the
sunlit carpet, staring at the ceiling. “Let’s think about this past
September. You’ve never had a proper conversation with this girl, you’ve
got incredibly strong feelings about her that you haven’t worked out
yet, you’ve got signals from her you haven’t fully understood yet,
you’re about ready to tell me your feelings for me and – and had you yet
worked out that you wanted to date her by that point?”
days before the business with the flour. But yeah, I was working up the
nerve to talk to her about the situation at the same time I was going to
“And you were incredibly conflicted, I imagine.”
“So when Jocasta made that crack about you following me into Hufflepuff – ”
really hit a nerve.” Jill buried her face in her arms. “I thought there
was no point in telling her my feelings if she was going to make fun of
them after all.”
“I see,” said Sparrow. “It was a delicate moment, teetering like a house of cards, and Jocasta tipped it over.”
“No,” said Jill. “You did.”
Sparrow sat up. She pointed at herself as if to say, me?
made it clear you didn’t have a clue what I was feeling. I worried that
you didn’t have feelings for me at all, not the way I had them for you.
So, between one potential romantic partner making fun of me, and
another failing to defend me, I…had to leave the table. And I didn’t
want to speak to you that day. And then a day became a week…and a week
became a month…and another month. By that point, I was too embarrassed
to come back.”
“But you did,” said Sparrow.
“It was clearly worth the effort. Especially since you missed me.”
you enough to nearly get sick! Yes. That was a terrible semester all
around. I had to wonder if you would ever come back, or if you’d had
enough of me and my wild ideas after all.”
“Better to communicate one’s feelings, eh?”
Jill raised her head. “So let’s talk about the current situation.”
Sparrow crossed her arms.
“And how you’re feeling.”
Sparrow un-crossed her arms.
from my perspective – I’m feeling like a procrastinating dumbass. Here I
go, waiting too long to tell either you or Jocasta about my feelings,
and then through a tragedy of repeated errors on my part, suddenly two
of the girls I thought about dating are dating each other.
“I don’t…see how this is a problem.”
glowered at Sparrow. “What in the hell do you mean, you don’t see how
this is a problem? You can’t possibly still be as oblivious as you were
in September! I just explained the entire situation!”
“From your angle. I didn’t get a chance yet to tell you what I wanted to tell you.”
Jill huffed. “Do tell.”
“First of all…Jocasta and I aren’t dating.”
“Right, right. You’re just snogging here and there. That’s bound to stay platonic forever.” Jill rolled her eyes.
no, no.” Sparrow grinned. “Both of us have caught feelings for each
other by now. We just…don’t want to let them get in the way of work. Or
cause undue jealousy. Which would interfere in our work. Among other
things it would do. And…” She put a hand on Jill’s arm. “I know she has
feelings for you too. You know how she’s acted around you, I know what
she’s told me. She wouldn’t ever say she was in love, not directly. But
she told me she cares about you.”
“Oh, um. Okay. Go on.”
the Halloween Ball…what did she say now? Something like, ‘I could cut
in between you and Jill, but that would be a terrible prank, I do not
wish to hurt Jill.’ Something like that.”
Jill’s eyes widened. “She was being sweet?”
Sparrow shrugged. “Pretty much, yeah. Compared to her norm.”
“Jocasta Carrow, prankster queen of Hogwarts, mocker of all people high and low, was being sweet. For my sake.”
your sake. And then…she’s got to have been paying close attention to
you for a while, because she told me you had embers in your heart that
would catch fire again and then you’d come back to me. And here you
“Oh dear,” said Jill. “Oh dear oh dear oh dear.” She buried
her face in her arms again. “Now what do I do. Now I have to choose at
some point. Or never pursue either option.”
“How do you know that’s true?”
“Eh?” Jill raised her head.
raised the idea with Jocasta first, but…actually, I think she gave me
the idea first at the Halloween Ball. ‘Boo hoo what a pity we have
monogamy.’ Or something. Maybe she didn’t mean to give me the idea but I
“What exactly are you getting at?”
“If forcing a
choice on you would do you harm, I won’t have that. You could have us
both, you see? And we could be three, and have each other. Without
having to think we were keeping any one of us from the other.”
“Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“Sparrow, I’ve seen it happen at this school a few times.”
“Oh, well – ”
just didn’t consider it a possibility for me. But. Here I am. Thinking
about it now. Thinking how I might like that after all. Now I’ve got a
lot to think about. So thanks a bunch.”
“If it’s easier on you,” said Sparrow, “I could just back off and let you have your fun with Jocasta.”
“Don’t martyr yourself, girl.”
rose, and moved to look out the window. Or try to. “We’ve been the best
of friends for three years,” said Sparrow. “That’s what I care about
most here. If I’m standing here at the window, it’s to hide my own
mortification. In my obliviousness I almost destroyed something dear to
Sparrow fell silent.
Then Jill was there, with a hand
on her shoulder. “Come on,” she said. “I thought I made it clear that I
was the real dumbass in that situation.”
“You were the real dumbass after that situation.”
“We’re both dumbasses.”
giggled. “Might as well stick together, then. But, you know, what I’m
talking about, all this polyamory business…it’s hypothetical right now
anyway, right? Because of your worries about your wand.”
said Jill, “so – hang on.” She turned to face the bed. “Okay, Sparrow,”
she said in a tone normally reserved for being upwind of a mother
rhinoceros. “Don’t take out your wand – ”
But that was the wrong
thing to say, because a readied wand was Sparrow’s immediate reflex at
the first hint of danger. She whirled around, expecting to see some
manner of many-tentacled beast.
There was nothing. Nothing but a wand on the bed.
what exactly are you – hey!” The wand on the bed flew straight at her.
Her own wand flew out of her hand. They met in the air with a resounding
CLACK, and hung there, fixed in place.
Fixed in place
for all eternity, it seemed. No matter how much Sparrow or Jill pushed
and pulled, the two wands did not move, nor did they come apart.
“This bullshit,” said Jill. “This is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s like our wands are in love, or something.”
kept trying to pry the wands apart, to no avail. “I know what you mean.
Imagine trying to kiss you and poking you with the wand every time.”
not just that!” Jill threw up her hands. “Oh, if it were only just
that! It’s like the wands are trying to play matchmaker! It’s like
they’re yet another thing trying to tell me I have some kind of Destiny!
I don’t hold with that nonsense and I’m not going to start now! I am in
control of my person and my future!”
Sparrow sat down beneath the wands, flustered but unwilling to move away from her own. “Yet another, eh? Do tell.”
“Nope as in never?”
“Maybe later. Maybe on some moonlit night – ”
said Sparrow. “I want to tell my horrifying story on a moonlit night
too. And so does Cormac. And Blaise has a story. And I bet Jocasta does.
This is all very convenient. We’ll do them all together.”
“And in the meantime,” said Jill, “I get to kiss Jocasta after all?”
“You have to ask her. Yourself.”
“Fine.” Jill sat down in front of Sparrow. “If you really want to make it a trio, you have to think about what that will take.”
communication,” said Sparrow, “clear negotiation of boundaries and what
gets shared, coordination of time schedules, and a decision on whether
to make the relationship open or closed. Did I miss anything?”
Jill blinked. “I was thinking about everyone else’s reaction.”
“You said they didn’t mind.”
“I said I’ve seen it happen around here. But, Sparrow, think about it. What does everyone in this school say about love?”
“That it – uh – ”
“Saved…come on, your memory isn’t that bad.”
“The world. Love saved the world. Right?”
Everyone around here knows the legend of Harry Potter. There’s people
who think he defeated Voldemort through Great Might but most of us know
that love literally saved his life twice. So, think about it. They see
me getting kissy with Jocasta, then they see you getting kissy with
Jocasta, and they think two of us are a terrible awful no-good cheater,
and in a righteous defense of Love they turn one of us into a toad.
Remember what happened to Geoffrey Cranshaw when he cheated on his
“Someone turned him into a toad.”
“And I just falsely accused Percival Bulstrode of cheating on his girlfriend.”
right, you did. Maybe you want to tell people it was a lie? Before he
gets turned into a toad as well? See, this is what you get for not
paying attention to your fellow students.”
“Don’t remind me.
Strike that. Keep reminding me. Getting to the matter at hand, you say
our fellow students are righteous in the defense of Love. Would they
interfere if three of us were openly a trio?”
“They might be
surprised. It’s not a very common thing, except in the storybooks we
pass between each other. We might find people interfering for the sake
of upholding unrealistic idealism. These are the same students who
willingly toss in a galleon to pay for the Cupids to come around. We’re
all very Romantic.”
“Oh goodness, don’t remind me.”
“I think I will have to keep reminding you about that as well.”
“It’s for your own good, girl.”
giggled. “Now you know what you sound like sometimes. Ah, but you’ve
got a heart of gold. Always trying to do the right thing. I may need you
for that someday. As I need Jocasta for – oh dear. I wonder if I need
her for everything.”
“Sounds like you’re in love.”
“Oh goodness,” said Jill, “is that what it is? I had no idea. Thank you so much for reminding me.”
“And I’m in love.”
you, silly! I mean probably with her too but definitely with you. You
of the burning passion, the will to meet all challenges, the strength to
restrain your terrifying power. How could I not be? And yet – how could
I claim to love you, if I kept you away from one you loved? Think about
“Sparrow, you don’t have to convince me any more about this. I’m on board if you are.”
Then you have your fun with her, and I’ll have my fun with her, and
when you’re ready I can have my fun with you too. Does that work?”
say it does.” Jill looked up. “But until I figure out what’s going on
with our wands…I can’t say when, if ever, I’d be ready for you.”
“We’ll figure it out,” said Sparrow.
“How do you know?”
Teenage lust? Ought to be an excellent catalyst for research. Hell,
I’ve got an idea already. If this wand thing doesn’t happen all the time
but only when we’re feeling real passionate about each other, like at
the dueling club, then maybe if we can let passion go…”
“Yeah, sure,” said Jill. “I’ll just meditate my way through my entire life.”
“Try it now.”
“How do I – ”
“Close your eyes. There you go. Get in a comfy position, breathe deeply in and out, and think about nothing.”
“How do I – ”
“Ah ah ah! No speech no thoughts.”
For a minute nothing happened. Then, as Sparrow watched, both wands uncoupled and fell out of the air.
onto her head. She glanced at both wands on her lap, snatched up one
and stuffed it in her pocket before it could cause any more trouble. She
handed the other to Jill.
“Marvelous,” said Jill. “Now how am I going to do that all the time?”
don’t know,” said Sparrow, as she stood. “Practice? And I’ll ask Cormac
about what else we might do. Mister Wand Lore has to have some ideas. ”
“Or he knows where to look for them,” said Jill. “In the meantime, let’s avoid exciting our wands.”
“Well, it’s not like I have one, anyway.”
“You don’t – Sparrow!” She giggled. “I mean, the only way we’re going to be able to be together right now is to remain chaste. Are you okay with that?”
said Jill, “Let us not think of ourselves as lovers, right now, but as
sword and shield. Someday you will know how to wield the sword and I the
shield. Do you want to try to learn again?”
“Perhaps I do,” said Sparrow. “But my wand would not approve, I fear.”
Jill giggled. “Sorry. Bad start.”
“Well, let me know when you do want to try dueling again.”
“Not that kind of dueling!” Sparrow let out an angry huff. “Is there anything you want me to tell Jocasta?”
her…tell her that I am very cross with her for the rumors she has
spread, and how she spoke to me on that September morning. Tell her that
if we are to date, she shall not do such a thing again, to anyone. Tell
her that I – I benefit immeasurably from her company, and hope that she
benefits from mine, and that I wish for such a relationship to last for
a very long time. In whatever form it may take.”
“You wish her to
stop a very old habit,” said Sparrow. “Hm. That will be tricky. You
could set it as a price for your affections, but…the old ‘if you love
me’ ultimatum isn’t a good way to start a relationship.”
see any other way. Even if it’s a bad way. I might fall into it without
meaning to. I mean, I’m clearly nervous around her everywhere besides
the field of battle, so I’d – why are you grinning?”