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Now that she was free from being grounded, Emira’s life mostly went back to how it had been before. She spent time playing pranks with Ed, trained and practiced new spells, avoided doing her homework, and occasionally spent time with her younger sister. Both her and Ed’s Grom dates had been a huge disappointment in the end, but she was able to put it behind her.

That afternoon, she was going to the mall with Ed to see what kind of fun they could have there. They had already wandered the market for a while, but there wasn’t anything interesting going on. The mall should be more exciting. The twins decided to stop at the house first to drop their school bags off and change clothes, which would greatly improve their mall experience.

Upon arriving at the Blight house, both went upstairs to do just that. Ed went to his room while Emira was on her way to hers. She had almost reached the door when a familiar voice called out to her.

“Em, do you have a minute?” The door to Mitten’s room, which was down the hallway from Emira’s, was cracked open. When Emira turned to look, she could only see a sliver of Mittens’ face through the small gap.

“Yeah, I do.” Quickly abandoning what she had come upstairs to do, Emira walked towards Mittens’ room. By the time she reached it Mittens had moved away from the door, so Emira pushed it open and entered.

She was shocked to see a cast on Mittens’ right foot. Her sister was leaning on a crutch, holding her injured foot off the ground. “What happened?” Was all Emira could say, her eyes locked on the injury.

“Can you close the door?” Mittens asked, ignoring the question. She hobbled over to her bed, leaning the crutch against it and sitting down.

Emira complied, shutting the door to the room. She stood there waiting, wondering if she should ask the question again. She decided to wait, as Mittens seemed to be gathering her thoughts to speak.

“Things were crazy at school today, I’m not sure… can I talk to you about it?” Mittens’ eyes were locked on hers, head tilted up slightly to maintain eye contact. She asked the question in a steady tone, but wide eyes and a tense form betrayed her nerves.

“Absolutely.” Emira nodded, and then moved over to sit next to Mittens on the bed. Some of the tension left Mittens’ shoulders, perhaps in relief. It was tempting to ask questions, but Mittens had probably called her in here to talk about something specific. Emira could wait a bit to hear about her injury.

“There’s been so much going on.” Mittens turned her face forward, not looking at Emira as she spoke. “I can’t even think straight around Luz these days, let alone talk to Willow. And the match today too, and my ankle. Where do I even start?” Mittens seemed to be talking to herself more than Emira, but Emira was happy to respond to the question.

“How about with your foot.” The injury was pretty concerning. Medic witches could heal most minor wounds in a few minutes, so for this to need a cast it had to have been pretty bad.

Mittens’ cheeks flushed slightly, and she rubbed the back of her head with one hand. “Oh right, the cast, good idea. That’s from the grudgby match after school.” That was news to Emira; she thought Mittens hadn’t played grudgby since she quit the team. “It was to help Willow. Boscha has been picking on her, so Luz, amazing Luz, challenged her to a grudgby match. I broke my ankle and we lost, but I think it’s going to be okay.”

There were so many details in this that sent Emira’s mind spinning. Who was Willow? She called Luz amazing? She played against Boscha? Her ankle being broken was okay? They lost the match?

“Is Willow one of your friends?” Emira chose the easiest of the clarifying questions.

“I hope so.” Mittens sighed, tilting her head forward. “I’ve been trying to reconnect with her. Do you remember a few weeks ago, when you asked about my old friends?”

Emira remembered it distinctly, how Mittens had stormed out of the room when pressed. “Yeah, I do.”

“I owe you an apology, it wasn’t fair of me to snap at you.” Mittens brought her hands together in her lap, weaving her fingers together. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Emira offered a smile. “We all snap sometimes.” She remembered once trying to steal and publish Mittens diary as revenge for being tattled on, and all the effort she put in to make up for it and improve their relationship.

“It was just, what you said hit close to home. I used to be friends with Willow, when we were kids.” Mittens paused to take a deep breath, gathering her composure. “She couldn’t do magic then. Our parents forbid me from seeing her.” That sounded like something they would do, Emira thought bitterly. She too had been criticized for her choice of companions multiple times in her life. “I messed things up, badly. I’ve been trying to reconnect with her, but I don’t know if she’ll ever want to be my friend again.” Mittens’ voice wavered as she finished speaking.

This time, Emira went in for the hug. She reached one arm around Mittens’ trembling shoulders, pulling her into a sideways hug. “When she sees how hard you’re working, I’m sure she will.” Mittens seemed to accept the gesture, leaning in on Emira.

“I hope you’re right.” She muttered. “Thanks Em.”

“Anytime.”

The two sat in silence for a moment, just connected by one arm around the other.

Mittens then broke off from the hug, leaning away to look up at Emira. “There’s more, unless you have to go soon?” She asked, that insecurity from before showing again.

“Tell me.” If Mittens wanted to talk, Emira wanted to listen.

Mittens nodded, and then continued. “Part of the reason I was injured today is because,” Mitten’s face was slowly gaining a dark flush now. “I have a crush.” Emira knew Mittens had a crush on Luz, she had known for a while. It was still nice to hear Mittens say it. “I can’t say who it is, but I just, I can’t seem to focus around her. During grudgby today I was too concerned with protecting her, which is how I got hurt. She draws me in, both during the match and outside of it. I can’t stay away.” Her crush on Luz had definitely leveled up significantly since Grom.

“Sounds like you really like her.” Emira commented with a grin.

“I do.” Amity turned to meet Emira’s gaze, face still mostly pink. “How can I act more normal around her?” Oh, so she was looking for advice.

This was not a question Emira could answer. She didn’t have much experience with crushes, and her last semi relationship ended with getting stood up for Grom. “I’m not sure.” She admitted. “Perhaps by telling yourself that they’re not just a crush, they’re also your friend, and you’re theirs.” This could help with the crush on Luz specifically, since they were friends first.

Mittens’ brow furrowed as she thought about it. “Yeah maybe.” She mused, turning back to look at her hands again.

They were suddenly interrupted by Ed’s voice echoing in the hallway. “Em!” He was calling for her in an irritated tone. “Where’d you go? This isn’t funny.” He called as he walked past Mittens’ door. That was right, she was supposed to change her clothes and go to the mall with him.

“Oops, forgot about Ed.” Emira frowned and crossed her arms, looking towards the door.

“You should go, before he burns the house down trying to find you.” Mittens gestured with one hand in a shooing motion.

“You sure?” Emira asked, not wanting to cut the conversation short if Mittens had more to say.

“Yeah.” Her sister nodded, “We’ll talk more later, okay?” Mittens asked it as a question, but for Emira there was only one correct response.

Emira couldn’t help but smile. “For sure.” She stood and walked towards the door. “Make sure to stay off that foot and keep it elevated.”

“Will do.” Mittens nodded and chuckled, “have fun with Ed.”

“Always do.” Emira gave one last wave before opening the door. “See you later.”

“See you.” Mittens waved as well, a small smile present on her lips.

Emira closed the door behind her as she left, calling an apology to Ed as she went to her original intended destination.

The twins soon left the house to go torment mall shoppers, but Emira looked forward to continuing her conversation with Mittens later. It finally felt like Mittens was talking to her, instead of just answering her questions. Like Mittens wanted to share, wanted Emira to hear and understand her.

It was amazing how much things could change in just a month.