The Sugar Quill
Author: Tapestry (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Tea and Whiskers  Chapter: Default
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Tea and Whiskers

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Disclaimer: Hogwarts and the Harry Potter universe belong entirely to JKR and Warner Brothers. I am merely playing in their world and no copyright infringement is intended. Kit and her family belong to me.

Author's Notes: Sometimes an idea gets stuck in my head and won't leave. The picture of Kit having a tea party with mice was one of those things I just couldn't shake. It was just such a magical idea, that instead of imaginary friends Kit was busy entertaining the neighborhood rodents. At one point I even considered using this as a prologue to the story, but finally decided against it. So now this scene is just an outtake that I'll share here with those of you curious enough to read it. I hope you enjoy this little snippet, I know I've enjoyed writing it :)

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Emma shoved a lock of damp hair out her eyes and hitched the laundry basket higher on her hip. How was it possible for one four-year-old to create this much laundry? A sigh feathered across her lips as she saw a forlorn pink ballet slipper lying by Kit's door. She was fairly certain the rise in laundry corresponded to Kit's insistence on dressing herself.

A giggle tumbled through the small gap where Kit hadn't pulled the door all the way closed. Emma set down the laundry basket and moved closer, glancing inside the room. Sunshine danced across the carpet and glinted off Kit's tousled curls. The little girl was curled in a chair at her play table, one bare foot peeking over the edge, with the other firmly tucked beneath her bottom.

Emma grinned. Kit had decided to be a ballet dancer today, but it looked as if she'd had trouble with her leotard. One arm was encased in pink Lycra while the other remained bare, the empty sleeve hanging at Kit's side like a deflated balloon. At her waist a stiff tutu stood out like one of Saturn's rings and a plastic tiara hung askew over one eye.

Kit didn't seem to care how oddly she was dressed; she was much too busy pouring Kool-Aid into three tiny teacups. Emma winced as she watched red liquid splash the table and dribble onto the carpet.

"Want a cookie?" Kit asked some invisible stranger. "They're yummy."

A noise behind Emma made her jump and glance around. Her husband, Michael, was just coming up the stairs. She motioned him over and held a finger to her lips. With exaggerated caution he tiptoed stealthily across the hall, making Emma roll her eyes. When he was beside her, Michael wrapped her in a hug and she leaned back against his chest reveling for a moment in the way his body cradled hers.

"What's happening in munchkin-land today?" Michael whispered.

Emma waved a hand at him quickly and shook her head. She nodded toward Kit's room and felt Michael press forward against her, peering over her shoulder. They watched.

"Thank you, Mrs. Whiskerton," Kit was saying, "my mommy made them. I got to lick the spoon."

Kit paused and then nodded her head enthusiastically. "I like chocolate chip best too."

Another brief pause and then, "Thank you, Mr. Whiskerton. This is my bestest dancing dress." Kit sprang up from her chair and spun in a wobbly circle. "I'll dance for you."

Kit jumped and leapt, spinning and dipping with her chubby little arms perched on her hips. She skipped and spun some more then tipped forward, almost falling over.

Emma felt Michael shove his face into her shoulder, smothering laughter as his chest shook against her. "When did she get an imaginary friend?" he whispered hoarsely into the cloth of her shirt. Emma shrugged, still watching Kit cavort around the room like a demented pixie. Michael stiffened suddenly behind her and she glanced back at him. He was staring at the play table as if it had come to life. Emma felt her eyes drawn there as well. She gripped his arm tightly and gasped.

A pair of fat gray mice sat side by side, little teacups next to them. One of the mice was watching Kit attentively while the other delicately tipped its pink nose into a teacup.

Kit curtseyed to the mice and bent to whisper to the closest, "You're much more fun than my teddy, he never drinks the tea!" The mouse nodded and squeaked at her.

Emma screamed, the sharp noise seemed to bounce off the walls and hang for a moment in the air before breaking over the room's occupants. Kit spun to face the doorway, while the mice disappeared like tiny grey phantoms over the side of the table. Tearing across the room Emma snatched Kit into her arms and stamped her feet, searching frantically for the mice, terrified they'd decide to scurry over her sneakers.

"Where'd they go, Michael? Do you see them?" she yelled. Kit wriggled and fought to get down, but Emma tightened her hold.

"You scared Mr. and Mrs. Whiskerton!" Kit bellowed. "And we didn't have our cookies yet." She kicked her chubby legs and wriggled so hard Emma had to put her down or risk dropping her.

Michael dropped to his knees in front of Kit and placed his hands on her shoulders. She stuck out her chin and pouted sulkily at him. "Why were there mice on the table?" he asked.

"It's a tea party," Kit said, kicking at the ground.

Emma put a hand out and braced herself against the wall. Her wits seemed to have scurried out the door behind the mice. One thought kept rattling through her mind, though; normal children did not have tea parties with mice.

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