The Sugar Quill
Author: Love Gordon  Story: Harry Potter and the Viridian Wand  Chapter: Prolouge
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They were in a small, darkened chamber deep within the earth. The walls and floor smelt of it: of the dirt, roots, and decomposing leaves. Faintly, enough so only the child noticed. 

The child sat in the corner, clothed in a brown hooded smock of some old and withered material. It might have been the burlap of a flour sack, once. A small tendril of brown hair escaped the darkness of the hood. Her face was in its folds, but she was watching.

A woman clothed in black linen scattered herbs on the floor. She poked at them irritably with a wand and scowled. The old man pointed his wand at the fire and muttered "Lumos." The dimness of the room lifted a bit, and the woman fixed a few things.

"There," she said. The child saw only a circle drawn in the dirt, and another circle of herbs within it, but said nothing. Who was she to argue with the woman's mysterious ways? The old man nodded noncommittally.

"It is… sufficient," he commented, letting not a hint of praise or disapproval into his voice. The woman hung on his every word, the child noticed. Then he turned toward the faint glow of the hearth. "This is all that really matters."

"But… but I thought…!" the woman cried shrilly, and the old man clapped his hands to his head as if his ears hurt. He sighed.

"It's only for protection. Not strictly necessary. You are weaker than I though, Lowell. You cannot feel the power of the earth?"

The woman called Lowell said nothing. The child wondered how long it would be before she revealed her true nature to him.


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