Tea and Whiskers
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 :)
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
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
"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.
"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
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.