After the events of the last week, it felt strange to just go back to school like she hadn’t gone up against Belos and everyone hadn't seen her rescue Eda and escape from the Emperor's coven and petrification.
It was weird, to say the least, but then again, there was never a day in the Boiling Isles that wasn't weird in some form or fashion if she were honest, she'd gotten pretty used to rolling with the punches in the last month though if she did say so herself.
This was a little different of course.
Gus and Willow had come by the very next day to check on them and get the rest of the story they’d missed after they’d gone to get Eda.
She could tell that her friends were disappointed that she hadn't come to them or even talked to them about it before throwing herself headlong into danger as she had been want to do as of late, but she had already dragged them into this mess with her once and she’d decided that was too many times, especially now that she had a better idea of what kind of real danger the Emperor posed.
She'd managed to pull one over on him and prove he wasn't invincible, but she also knew he was just messing with her, despite her giving it her all and pulling some rather dangerous stunts to boot.
She couldn’t decide if she was becoming more reckless or if she always had been and the Isles just really brought it out in her, what with all the… well, dangerous stuff.
Eh, unimportant right now.
They decided it was probably better for Eda and Lillith to lay low for a while and stay inside the house for now, not draw any attention to themselves, difficult as that was for Eda. Lilith would help keep her wrangled, and maybe King.
Though he was just as likely to egg her on as anything else.
Since they weren’t leaving the house Eda couldn’t take her to school on Owlbert, so it was just her and her trusty legs walking to school that morning. She was a little nervous at the prospect of facing… well, everyone.
Everyone had seen her and as the only human on the Isles, she wasn’t exactly hard to miss on a regular day much less when being broadcast by crystal ball to everyone.
Her fingers played with the strap of her bag nervously.
She met up with Willow halfway and some of her fears were temporarily relieved as they walked the rest of the way, chatting animatedly. She almost completely forgot about her worries until the school came into view and she could see all the students moving about outside and on the front steps.
Her grip on her bag tightened again and her shoulders bunched up around her ears.
“You ok?” Willow seemed to quickly pick up on her tenseness.
“Yeah…,” she started slowly, eyes darting around the field out front of the school, no one seemed to even be looking at her, any more than usual that is, even as they walked right up to the school steps where Gus was waiting for them, waving. “I guess I just thought… I dunno, that after what happened more people would be… talking about me?” She wasn’t really sure what she had been expecting.
“Well, you had your cloak up the entire time and the Emperor did say the titan told him to free Eda, so you’d be included in that.” Gus shrugged.
"Gus and I recognized you, but we're together all the time too," Willow added.
“Yeah, I guess…” She wouldn’t say she was disappointed by the lack of attention, it was just so, anticlimactic she supposed. Luz didn’t mind being in the spotlight, but she didn’t actively seek it either.
The bell screamed its first warning toll and all the kids roaming around outside the school began making their way inside.
“See you guys later!” Luz waved as Gus and Willow headed off to their perspective classes, waving to her over their shoulders as they disappeared in the crowd of students.
Tapping a finger against her cheek she had to think for a moment to remember what track classes she had today. There wasn’t enough time in the day for her to take all nine tracks a day so it had to be split over the five weekdays.
It was Monday, so she had beast keeping and potions. She grinned at the thought. She loved learning about all the tracks, but beast keeping was especially fun.
She never got to practice manticore taming or griffin riding back home after all!
She paused mid-step.
The thought made her frown but she tried to shake off the heavy feeling that had settled over her, there was no point in moping about it right now. She did what she had to do, for the good of everyone… and it was her fault that they had been put in that situation to start with, it was only right that she fix it.
Eda was already looking into it but there were other things going on that needed her attention to, and that was fine! Luz knew what she was doing when she’d done it.
She guessed these were just the consequences of her actions catching up to her that her mom had always been warning her about. Maybe now she’d start learning to look before she leaped.
She had started back toward the steps only to be stopped again.
She immediately recognized that voice as she turned around to come face to face with Amity as she jogged up to the steps, her abomination trailing behind her as it carried her books. She stopped a few feet from her.
“Hey, Amity! You're out of your cast!” Luz grinned at the sight of her friend finally out of bed and back at school.
“Huh? Oh, yea, a few days ago.” She seemed to fidget as she tucked a stray strand of mint-colored hair behind her ear. “Forget about that though!” she seemed to focus again, looking at Luz with a frown, face set in a stern look. “What happened?!” she demanded.
Luz frowned, fingers twitching over the rough canvas strap of her bag, she didn’t need to ask what Amity was talking about, she could only mean the whole petrification, escape from the emperor’s coven thing that had been broadcast across all of the Boiling Isles, she’d no doubt seen it.
“Ah well, it’s kind of a long story…” she rubbed her arm and laughed nervously. Amity did not look at all impressed by that answer. “If you want to meet at the library after school I can explain it all,” she offered. She felt bad that out of all her friends Amity was the only one completely in the dark since she didn’t even know about Eda’s curse or had gone with them on the trip to the Emperor’s castle.
Amity didn’t look satisfied with the answer but just as she opened her mouth to speak the bell screamed again, it’s last call for students to get to class before they were tardy and if Luz knew anything at all about Amity, it was that she loved Azura and was never late.
“Alright, I’ll meet you there,” she agreed, though she still didn't look happy about it.
Amity quickly hurried off to class with her abomination, leaving Luz standing there before she smacked herself in the forehead with her palm.
"I'm gonna be late!" She yelped before taking off in the direction of beast keeping 101.
~ ~ ~
The day seemed to fly by after she actually made it to class.
It was nice to have something else to occupy her mind other than impending doom in one form or another.
Potions always took all her concentration, unless she wanted to accidentally turn a potion for curing mild rashes into a literal bomb.
...It had happened before...
It had only been a small explosion and her teacher had quickly put out the fire though.
Now that she thought about it, that would have been so much more useful last week.
She pondered the merits of magical bombs in convenient, throwable glassware as she walked quickly through the Bonesborough market toward the library.
She'd been a little slow cleaning up after her potions class and had ended up staying a little longer. Amity would probably be waiting on her already, she was punctual to a fault.
She skipped up the library steps two at a time and quickly snuck by the librarian at the front counter when he wasn’t looking.
After the time she had gotten kicked out with the Blight twins, she wasn’t sure she was exactly welcome in the library, so it was better to just not let the librarian see her really.
She snuck quietly through the halls to the romance section. It was devoid of people as it typically was.
She scanned the shelves before smiling as her eyes settled on a book. ‘The Lone Witch and the Secret Room.’
She pulled the book out and shoved it back in, there was a loud click as the shelf slid away to reveal Amity’s secret room.
Amity was already waiting inside for her, curled up in the corner on some cushions, a book splayed across her lap as she stepped in, letting the shelf slide back into place behind her.
“Hey” She held up a hand in greeting. “Sorry, it took me a little longer than normal. I had to clean up after potions.”
“It’s alright, Luz.” She closed her book and motioned to the other cushion several feet away. Luz dropped her bag and plopped onto the floor, crossing her legs as she looked up at the youngest Blight and smiled.
Gold eyes flitted away and cheeks took on a rosy hue. Luz wondered if Amity was hot, it wasn’t bad in here but some people ran warmer and colder than others.
“So…,” Luz started, unsure.
Amity seemed to jolt as her eyes were once again on the human and her expression morphing into one of serious expectancy.
"What happened last week?"
Straight to the point then. Luz nodded as she started with Eda's curse and the field trip to the Emperor's castle.
Amity's face seemed to shift through a myriad of emotions over the course of the story, especially when Luz talked about how Lilith had kidnapped her and tried to kill her.
The horror on her friend's face and those intense gold eyes focussed on her made Luz self-conscious and she pulled her knees up to her chest but didn't stop her tale. She squeezed her legs as she got lost in thinking about it.
Amity wasn't the only one experiencing a lot of emotions right now.
The fear as Eda had succumb to her curse and later the rage she felt anytime someone so much as uttered Lilith's name or she saw one of those dumb posters made her whole body shake, and finally the helplessness and sorrow as she'd handed over the portal and then had to burn her world away in a flash of fire. All of it came back to her so easily, still fresh on her mind even as she tried not to think about it too hard.
"So, you can't go home?" Amity finally asked quietly after a brief silence following Luz’s explanation of everything that had happened.
She shook her head sadly, eyes downcast and quiet.
Amity hesitated a second before reaching over to set a hand on one of Luz's, resting on her knees and making her look up, brown meeting gold.
"I'm sorry, Luz…" She squeezed gently.
The small touch and the look on her friend's face caused a comforting flash of heat in Luz's chest.
"Thanks… Eda's working on it so…" She shrugged.
Eda who was also without magic, which Amity knew now.
“I’ve seen the owl lady do some pretty impressive things, I’m sure she’ll figure something out.” Amity gave a final squeeze before pulling back, trying to will away the touch of pink on her cheeks, now wasn’t the time for it and she scolded herself for the automatic response.
“Yeah…” Luz nodded to herself, a small smile managing to pull at her lips, which made Amity smile in turn.
“I can’t believe how selfless you are sometimes… destroying the portal to save Eda…,” Amity said, fiddling with her hands now sitting folded in her lap.
“It was my fault she got caught in the first place, I had to fix my mistake…” Luz shrugged, a little flustered by praise she hardly deserved. “She didn’t leave me… I couldn’t leave her.”
“Most people wouldn’t have done that, even if it was their fault,” the young witch insisted.
“Maybe…” Luz shrugged again but couldn’t help the widening of her smile.
Amity glanced at the clock on the wall, her smile turned into a grimace, they had been here longer then she had planned.
“I need to head home…” Amity stood and Luz followed suit as they headed out of the secret room, checking quickly to make sure no one was around to see them as they headed out.
“I have abominations and illusions tomorrow, so I guess I’ll see you in class.” Luz smiled as they stepped outside the library.
“Of course…” Amity nodded but she seemed distracted as they paused at the top of the library steps.
“Amity?” Luz called and again she was focused on her, but the look on her face was one Luz had seen before, she was thinking.
She hesitated a second, looking around the empty area outside the library before closing the two feet of distance between them.
Luz could only blink as Amity's arms wrapped around her in a tight embrace, chin tucked into her neck, mint green filling the girl's vision.
"I'm so glad you're okay."
It was said so quietly she almost missed it, hardly a whisper, breathed against her neck.
Warmth immediately flooded her chest at the quiet murmur.
Before Luz could reach up to return the embrace Amity was already pulling away.
“See you tomorrow, Luz,” she called as she hurried down the library steps, never looking back and leaving Luz standing there, stunned, in her wake.
“Bye…” she held up a hand in farewell at the retreating witch’s back.
Why was her face so warm?
Shaking it off, Luz adjusted her bag as she hurried back to the owl house before Eda could wonder where she was.
The heat in her face faded quickly but the warmth in her chest lingered all night.
The minute Amity set her things down on her desk she caught sight of the Emperor’s coven poster, with Lilith Clawthorne staring back at her with a smug smile.
With a frown, Amity ripped the poster from the wall and stuffed it into the trash can next to her desk.
If Luz was honest, her illusion classes were fun, especially since she shared them with Gus, but she wasn’t very good at them, despite her flair for the dramatic and natural affinity for a certain kind of showmanship.
Though it wasn’t appreciated back home if her audition for Romeo and Juliet was anything to go by.
Theater was supposed to be dramatic!
Instead, it only landed her in the principal’s office.
Gus was way more advanced than her in class, obviously, since she couldn't do any of the actual spells, but she did excel in the book portion of the class. She didn’t need a magic bile sac to read.
All that reading came in handy too, one of her books had some diagrams in them that looked suspiciously like glyphs to her. Playing with them on paper she had discovered that one of them was. The whole class had turned to look at her when she’d made that discovery because she had let out a shrill screech of excitement. She’d almost forgotten about it with all the stuff that had been going on the last week.
By drawing the symbol on paper and placing it on any part of her body, and concentrating on what she wanted it to do, she could cast an illusion of her choosing over herself. She hadn’t yet discovered any practical uses for it, and it was always fairly small, but it was fun to play with. She could cast small illusions over objects too. The illusion lasted as long as the parchment stayed intact with her skin.
She traced the symbol on some paper, tongue poking out in concentration till she was satisfied with the result. With her other hand she concentrated and tapped the inked symbol, a faint blue glow surrounded her fingers before fading to reveal her clawed hand. She grinned to herself and looked up at Gus, who was watching her with rapt attention. She bared her teeth and made a clawing motion at him, sending the younger witch into a barely restrained laughing fit. She giggled along with him
Now, this would have really gotten her sent to the principal and for an actually decent reason.
With a twirl of his finger, Gus’s hands morphed to match hers and he growled back, trying to look fierce but both of them fell into a laughing fit before the teacher shot them a warning look.
She’d need to share this one with Eda later, though there was no telling what uses she might come up with to use it for.
...Probably smuggling things…yeah, that sounded like Eda.
Any classes she shared with her friends always seemed to fly by much too quickly for Luz, even if the material itself wasn't always very exciting… or she got into trouble by messing around with her friends because the material wasn't exciting either way, class always seemed to flash by.
The bell screamed and she jumped up, shouldering her bag. The second half of her Tuesday meant abominations with Amity. She grinned to herself as she jogged through the halls, carefully dodging other students as she dashed down the hall. Abominations 101 was in a different section of the school and if she walked she was always late. The last thing she wanted was the teacher and Amity scolding her.
Amity always saved the other seat at her table for her though, no matter how late she was.
She was always excited to have class with her friends, but for some reason, she was extra excited to get to abominations today, she was thrumming with energy. well, more than she usually was. She wasn’t exactly sure why, if she had to guess though she was just excited to talk to Amity, the witch had been flittering on and off her mind since she’d left the library yesterday. If she thought about it hard enough she could still feel where the witch’s arms had squeezed around her shoulders and her breath had whispered against her neck. The thought caused an involuntary shiver to ripple through her.
She was a very touchy-feely person, but nothing had ever caused that response before. She rubbed a hand over the goosebumps that had erupted across the back of her neck with a thoughtful frown.
She hadn’t really allowed herself to show how heavily destroying the portal had weighed on her in front of Eda or Willow and Gus when they had come over the day after they had escaped the Emperor. She didn’t want to bring them down or make Eda feel bad, not that she had any reason too. She’d made that mess, so it was up to her to fix it, no matter the personal cost; it was her responsibility to fix her mess.
Though that didn’t mean it still didn’t hurt.
She hadn’t meant to let Amity see her down yesterday, but with just the two of them, alone in her secret room, those soft, gold eyes trained on her she had just… forgotten.
Willow and Gus were easy to talk to, they knew what to say and were the calm to her bursting at the seams energy…
Well, Willow was calm. Gus was still easy to talk to though!
That being said, it was just so easy to tell Amity things she supposed, to let her guard down completely. She always listened so intently and Luz just kinda forgot herself when they talked, things she normally wouldn't say had had a tendency to just spill out in her presence.
True to form Amity hadn't looked at her with pity or anything but kindness and understanding. That small touch of her hand conveyed a lot and thinking about it now made Luz grin as she skittered around the corner, heading straight for her class.
She skidded to a halt just inside the door, glancing around the room before her eyes fell on a familiar head of mint green hair.
Amity's face was buried in a large, worn-looking tome as Luz approached, her eyes scanning over the yellowed pages intently.
"Hey, Amity," she greeted, making the witch jump. Wide gold eyes whipped upward to look at her in surprise.
“Oh, Luz, you’re here, like you said you’d be!” she exclaimed, face taking on a light pink hue as Luz sat her bag on the table and plopped herself in the empty seat next to Amity. She must have really surprised her to make her turn that color.
“Yup!” She grinned, popping the ‘p’. “Whatcha looking at?” She glanced over at the large book that Amity had been so engrossed in.
“Oh, it’s a book about ancient, wild magic.” She closed the book to show the cover, which to Luz’s amazement was covered in designs that reminded her a lot of her glyphs.
Amity couldn’t help but smile at the starstruck look in Luz’s eyes as she peered at the book; the reaction she had been hoping for. Luz’s love for magic was as predictable as the rising of the sun. She could feel her face further heat up as she slid the book across the table to Luz.
“I brought it for you,” she managed to say without combusting, which was a remarkable achievement in and of itself if she did say so herself.
“For me?” Luz’s bright brown eyes widened comically but Amity could only find the expression adorable, even as she tried to stamp down the stray thought that only furthered the heat in her cheeks.
“Y-yeah, I found it in my family’s library and I thought it might be useful to you.” She gave a half shrug, as her eyes darted away from Luz’s.
Finally, and unbeknownst to her, mercifully, Luz turned her eyes away from Amity to look closer at the clearly ancient book that had been shoved under her nose, it’s hardened leather cover engraved with runes and strange symbols that could almost be glyphs. It was smooth and warm under her fingertips
“Wow,” she breathed, leafing briefly through the pages, she’d have to wait till after school to really look at it. “Thank you so much, Amity!” She turned back to look at her, eyes locking as Amity had been watching her as she inspected the book.
“Sure, yeah, of course, no problem, keep it as long as you want,” she rattled off, glancing away and tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
Luckily for Amity the bell finally screamed, signaling the beginning of class. Luz slipped the book into her bag and turned back to face the abominations professor as he began class.
She was so excited to get home and look through the book she hardly heard a thing the teacher was saying, but she tried, she really did. Abominations were one of Luz's harder classes since summoning them was entirely dependent on a spell circle, for which she did not yet have a glyph for, but she did practice creating the formulas for the abominations. Her classmates, usually Amity, would then summon it from the pot of goo for her to see if it was right. She was making steady progress in that bit. They did sometimes come out a little misshapen or with extra limbs, but hey, she was working on it.
Maybe the book Amity had given her would help her discover a glyph for it, from what she could figure, the Blight's had a history of witches that specialized in abominations.
Speaking of, she glanced over just in time to catch the witch in question looking at her, with a small smile. Luz grinned at her and the girl jolted like she had been shocked before quickly facing forward again, cheeks reddening. Luz just grinned harder.
It was cute.
The second she realized what she had just thought Luz jerked up in her seat, blinking owlishly at her own thoughts.
Where had that come from?
She glanced at the other girl out of the corner of her eye, watching as she quickly jotted down notes while the professor walked around the room lecturing about the proper proportions for abomination slurry. The skin between her brows was furrowed in concentration as she quickly filled a page with rapidly taken, but beautifully written notes.
She guessed... objectively speaking, Amity was cute, she admitted to herself.
She thought of the book tucked away in her bag, she was kind too, once they’d cleared up all their initial misunderstandings.
As top student, she was smart too.
And really good at grudgeby, she was a great dancer too…
Luz felt her face heat up some as her mind kept supplying her with things.
She didn’t hear much the professor said after that, she was so busy trying to decipher her own thoughts. She must have sat there for a while.
“Luz?” The quiet whisper of her name made her jerk, glancing in the direction of the sound, where Amity was looking at her with concern. “Are you okay? You’re a little flushed.”
That of course only made her face hotter.
“Pshh, yea, of course!” she waved away her friend’s concerns. “Just… a little warm is all.” She smiled, tugging at the collar of her uniform. The smile on her face felt forced even to herself, though if Amity noticed she said nothing about it, she didn’t look at all convinced though, she gave a little nod before turning back to her notes and what the teacher was saying.
Had her eyes always been such a bright shade of gold?
‘What is wrong with me today?’ She thought herself as she slumped down in her chair.
Unlike any other day, the rest of her day seemed to drag by, especially her interactions with Amity, which for once she was glad were few and far between as today seemed to be a lecture day.
The moment the final bell rang out Luz jumped up, saying a quick bye to Amity with the excuse that Eda needed her help with something right after school. Usually, she dawdled behind on Tuesdays so the two could talk a little as they walked out to the front, but today she just had to get some space.
“Oh, bye, Luz,” Amity was left saying as the human booked it for the door without a second look, but she didn’t let her thoughts linger on it for more than a moment, Luz was eccentric at the best of times after all.
She was exhausted.
Which is what happens when you don’t sleep, like, at all.
Luz could barely keep her eyes open during her bard classes. If it weren’t for the constant loud noises and music that was often blaring from the hallway that housed the bard track students she probably would have passed out long before lunch.
She sighed tiredly as she picked at her lunch, she’s been so preoccupied trying to just get herself moving this morning she’d completely forgotten to pack her lunch today and had to get something from the school cafeteria.
Not that whatever it was they had slopped on her tray was really doing it for her nonexistent appetite anyway.
The fact that whatever it was, was looking back at her did not help. She shoved the tray away with a frown.
Gus and Willow shared a concerned look from their side of the table. Gus shrugged and Willow looked back at their usually energetic friend.
“You okay, Luz?” she asked tentatively.
“Huh?” Luz looked up, blinking tiredly. “Oh, yeah, I’m fine, I just didn’t sleep much last night is all.” She smiled, but it took noticeable effort and she knew right away that Willow wasn’t buying it.
“Makes sense,” Gus answered before the plant witch could say anything. The small smile that crawled on Luz’s face was genuine as she looked at her friends. Bless Gus.
She knew Willow wasn’t so easily fooled but luckily she didn’t have plant track until tomorrow. Hopefully, she’d get some sleep tonight and not look quite so much like something Hooty had hacked up.
She wanted to talk to her friends, she really did, but she didn’t know what to say, she wasn’t even entirely sure what was wrong.
She’d laid in bed last night staring up at the ceiling, trying to figure out why she suddenly couldn’t keep Amity Blight off her brain. The way she smiled or laughed, gold eyes lighting up with the acts. The thoughts made her stomach twist and flip like she’d drank a glass of milk.
Before she knew it the sun had started streaming in through her window and it was time for school.
She managed to avoid Amity by waiting till after the bell had rung to go into the building, she’d been late to her first class but sometimes you just had to make sacrifices.
Lunch ended and she hurried off to her oracle classes with a brief goodbye to her friends, Willow giving her a look that Luz deliberately ignored. She knew she was only worried about her but she really didn’t wanna talk about it right now, what would she say?
‘Sorry, I'm just tired because I didn’t sleep, I was too busy freaking out about the fact that I couldn't stop thinking about Amity all night.’ Yeah, she couldn’t even begin to guess how Willow and Gus would react to that.
The rest of her day passed in a sleepy haze, at one point she must have fallen asleep because the next thing she knew the screaming of the bell made her jerk out of her seat and topple to the floor in a groggy heap.
She picked herself up and gathered her things before slowly making her way toward the front of the school. Her mind was blank save for the quiet, sleep-deprived induced white noise that filled her head, like the static on one of the broken TV’s Eda would try to sell at the market.
She was too tired to even think about Amity right now, all she could think about was her bed.
She jerked, the static vanished from her mind as she turned toward the familiar voice calling her name, stomach doing somersaults.
Amity was walking down the front steps toward her, books cradled in her arms, and a small smile pulling at her lips.
“Oh, h-hey Amity!” She smiled nervously as the youngest Blight stopped in front of her.
“I didn’t see you this morning, I must have missed you.”
“Oh, I uh, was late.” she shrugged nervously, playing with the strap of her bag, eyes looking anywhere but at her as she felt her face heating up against her will.
The look on Amity’s face turned concerned as she really took in Luz’s appearance. Her face seemed to sag and the area beneath her eyes was heavy with shadow as though she hadn’t slept in days, those normally bright, brown eyes were dull and hazy.
"Are you okay? You don't look well." The concern in her tone was palpable and it made Luz's stomach twist up in knots. She frowned, still not able to meet her friend's gaze.
"Actually, no, I'm not feeling very good, I gotta go!" She turned and bolted, if Amity called after her she didn't hear as she ran straight for the owl house.
"Luz is home!" Hooty screeched, the door swinging open for her.
"Thanks, Hooty…," she mumbled quietly as she walked through the empty living room. She dropped her bag on the floor and flung herself face down onto the couch before letting out a frustrated yell into the cushions.
"Oh, your home, how was school, kid?" Eda's head poked out of the kitchen to look at the ruckus in the living room.
Again Luz groaned into the couch before sitting up to look at her mentor. Dual colored eyes blinked.
"Yowza, what's the matter with you?" she asked, walking into the room the second she saw Luz's face.
"That's the problem, I don't know!" She flung her hands out, exasperated as Eda sat next to her. "I was up all night and I couldn't focus all day, I couldn't stop thinking about her!"
"Her? Her who?"
Luz blinked, face reddening as she realized what she had just said, her eyes slid to Eda who was looking at her expectantly.
"Uh…" she bit her lip.
"Is some kid picking on you, do we need to feed someone to Hooty?" the owl lady asked with a frown.
"No, no… we don't need to feed anyone to Hooty." Luz shook her head. "I didn't sleep at all last night...I…" she glanced up at Eda who was looking at her encouragingly.
"I couldn't stop thinking about Amity," she admitted, fiddling with her fingers.
"What do you mean, thinking about her how?" Eda scratched the back of her head, frowning.
If possible Luz's already flushed face turned even redder at the prospect of saying it out loud.
“Like… how smart and cool she is! She’s so good at magic and grudgeby and she's so pretty…” She was cut off by Eda’s burst of laughter. Luz looked at her mentor, red-faced as Eda threw her head back and howled with laughter.
“What’s so funny!?” she demanded.
“What is all the racquet in here?” Lilith asked as she stood in the entrance to the kitchen, a teacup in hand as she looked curiously at them.
“Luz here has it bad for the tiniest Blight,” Eda managed to snort between laughter.
“Oh?” Lillith cocked a brow as her gaze turned to Luz, looking mildly amused.
“It? What It?!”
“Kid, I knew you could be a little hard-headed but come on,” Eda chuckled, wiping away the tears that had gathered in the corner of her eyes. “You have a crush on Amity, it happens.” Eda smiled at her apprentice, reaching out to ruffle her hair.
“A crush!? We’re friends, I don’t have a crush! ” Luz jumped up like she’d been scalded, face hot as she looked wildly between both sisters who were looking at her with mild amusement.
“You didn’t sleep all night because you were thinking about how smart she was…” Eda stood from the couch and set both hands on her hips.
“Well…” Luz hummed.
“How cool she is…” Eda went on.
“She…” Luz yelped.
“And how pretty she is.” Eda smirked, leaning forward.
“I…” Luz wheezed.
“Perhaps even, being around her makes you nervous, excited, flushed?” Lilith asked before taking a sip of her tea but never took her eyes off Luz over the rim of her cup.
At the suggestion, Luz’s face did in fact flush.
Her brain was zipping with lightning-paced thoughts as she thought about her interactions with Amity.
Amity helping her with her homework in class, laughing as she ate lunch with her, Gus and Willow… saving her from being sliced in half in grudgby… Grom!
Despite the fight with the horrible fear monster she looked so happy and pretty as they danced...
Luz’s eyes widened as her face turned impossibly crimson.
“Here it comes…” Eda grinned, waiting for the incoming explosion.
“Oh crammity, I have a crush on Amity!” She slapped her hands against the sides of her face, looking horrified at the sudden realization.
“There it is!” Eda draped an arm over her apprentice’s shoulder and tugged her in close. "Ah, young love, I remember it like it was yesterday," the witch sighed wistfully, eyes staring into the distance as she seemed to be remembering something.
"Love?!" Luz yelped.
Lilith rolled her eyes as she watched Eda squeeze the shaken human.
"Edalyn, you're scaring her…," Lilith drawled.
"Hmm?" She glanced down at Luz who seemed to be on the verge of hyperventilating. "Oh, right," she mumbled. "Hey, don't sweat it, kid, it's just a little crush...well, maybe a big crush…," she chuckled, seeing just how red the girl was.
"I-I can't have a crush on Amity, we're friends!" she insisted.
"That's how it starts…" Eda nodded her head knowingly. "You start as friends and then you know you got things in common."
"Who dares disturb the king of demons!? What's going on here?" King stomped into the room.
"Luz is having a teenage crisis," Eda supplied.
"Meh…" King didn't look impressed before heading up the stairs.
"What am I gonna do?" Luz drug her hands through her hair anxiously.
"Well, based on my previous experience, the way I see it you have two options." Eda held up two fingers.
"Which are?" Luz looked at the older witch hopefully
"You can run away and start a new life, maybe on the knee, or we can get rid of her.." she offered.
"What, no! Neither!" she shouted.
“Edalyn!” Lilith scolded at the same time.
“What? She said she couldn’t have a crush!” She held up a hand.
“I just mean...I…” Luz wasn’t sure what she meant, but she definitely wasn’t going to run way from Amity and she really didn’t want anyone ‘getting rid of her’. “I just don’t know what to do…”
“You could pursue it,” Lillith offered with a quirk of her brow as though it were the most obvious answer.
Luz seized up at the suggestion.
“I guess she could do that too.” Eda shrugged. “If you're into that kind of thing.” she scratched her nose and Lillith rolled her eyes.
“I uh, think I’m just gonna go lay down…,” Luz mumbled tiredly, her exhaustion from the day hitting her like a freight train all of a sudden.
“Sure, kid.” Eda patted her shoulder, looking down at her apprentice sympathetically. She watched the girl climb the stairs and listened for the shutting of her door before she shook her head with a chuckle. “This is gonna be interesting…,” she said with a shake of her head.
“How so?” Lilith cocked a brow at her sister.
“Cause that girl already had it bad for Luz for weeks now,” she said like it was the most obvious thing in all the Boiling Isles as she walked back into the kitchen, Lilith trailing behind her.
“Why didn’t you tell her that?” she frowned as Eda shook her head, going back to the bubbling green pot of goo she had been mixing before Luz got home.
“Naw, they need to figure it out on their own. That kid is braver than most people I know, now that she’s clued in on her feelings maybe they’ll get somewhere; otherwise, this is gonna be painful to watch.” She frowned.
Upstairs Luz had dropped onto her sleeping bag with a sigh, she could barely keep her eyes open, even as her mind was buzzing with this new realization of her crush on Amity.
She buried her face in her hands and groaned.
What was she gonna do? She couldn’t just ‘pursue’ her, as Lillith had suggested…
Could she? Would she think it was weird?
She’d come to terms with being bi last year after a long and awkward talk with her mom, but she’d still never actually had a real crush on anyone before, heck, she didn’t even have any friends back in the human world, much less love interests.
No one wanted to even be friends with the weird girl that had ‘backup snakes’ much less date her.
She frowned up at the ceiling.
It was different here though wasn’t it? She had friends, sure she was still kind of an outcast as far as the majority of the student body was concerned, being the only human and all, but no one really thought she was weird, she had classmates who had six arms or just a giant eye for a head, she was pretty tame by comparison, in fact, if she just had pointed ears no one would even look twice at her.
She needed some help.
Eda meant well but she thrived on being an outcast, and while she accepted she was always going to be on the fringes for being herself no matter what world she lived in, which she was mostly fine with, she still wanted to belong somewhere. Now that she finally had that, did she really want to risk one of those precious friendships because one of her friends was just so smart and cool and cute?
“Ughh!” She kicked her feet helplessly.
“Nghh, why are you so loud, can’t you see I’m trying to sleep?”
She jerked, turning her head to see King curled up in a pile of her clothes, one eye open to look at her, but despite his words, he didn’t look annoyed at all.
“I’m just tired…,” she lied, not up for talking about this anymore right now.
The tiny demon huffed, getting up and trotting over to her. He flopped down beside her and curled into a ball at her side.
“Go to sleep then…,” he grumbled.
A small smile pulled at her lips as she ran a hand through his fur.
“Yeah…,” she mumbled, head rolling back to look at the ceiling before she closed her eyes and tried to push away all her conflicting thoughts.
Within a few minutes, she was out.
~ ~ ~
Luz woke up feeling so much better than she had yesterday, though still conflicted on what to do about her crush.
At least she wouldn’t be by herself today.
On Thursday Luz had plant track classes with Willow.
She tried to act more casual and upbeat than she had at lunch yesterday, but Willow seemed to pick up on her less than chipper mood pretty quickly anyway.
“So, do you want to tell me what’s wrong?” she asked as they stood in a somewhat isolated corner of the greenhouse carefully trimming a pair of snapping gargoyle lilies.
“What makes you think something is wrong?” Luz laughed nervously, only just jerking her fingers out of the way before one of the red flowers could snap its fanged petals around her fingers. She glared at it.
“Come on Luz, you really haven’t been yourself lately, you know you can talk to me right?” Willow asked with a smile.
Luz frowned as she snipped another dead branch of the writhing and growling demon plant with some shears.
“Of course I know…,” she finally said. “I guess, I’m just… embarrassed?” That was definitely one of the things she was feeling. Nervous, anxious, unsure?
Definitely those things too.
“It’s okay,” Willow assured her again.
Luz made a nervous humming sound as she glanced around at the other students, none close enough to really overhear them if they spoke quietly.
“I… have a crush…” she finally admitted, cheeks dusted pink. Willow’s face lit up with a bright smile.
“Aw, that’s great, Luz! That’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” her friend assured her.
“That’s not the embarrassing part…” Luz mumbled, glancing around anxiously. How did people on the Boiling isles even feel about someone having romantic feelings for someone of the same gender? She knew that it could go either way in the human world, was it like that here? Worse?
She swallowed thickly. Willow was her friend, and Willow had two dads, even if it was, she would understand.
“It’s a girl,” she admitted, testing the waters before she told Willow who it was exactly.
Willow frowned, looking at her strangely.
“Why would that be embarrassing?”
“I dunno it’s just… in the human world, there are a lot of places and people that REALLY don’t like that… like… kill people because of it,” she grimaced and the shock was easy to see in the plant witch’s face.
Luz shrugged helplessly, a tinge of anger igniting in her gut, she wasn’t sure she could really explain the way different religions and politics influenced culture in her world, and even if she could it would probably take a lot longer than they had for class.
“It’s just, the way it is...” she trailed off and Willow seemed to understand that Luz couldn’t answer her question, though she still looked disturbed by this and Luz didn’t blame her.
“Well, it’s not like that here, no one cares about that stuff I guess,” she said, and Luz sagged in relief at this and Willow could tell. “You don’t need to worry about that, Luz.” She patted the other girl’s shoulder.
“That is a relief.” she nodded but paused, biting her lip. In for a penny in for a pound, that was the saying, right?
“There’s one more thing…,” she trailed off, looking at Willow nervously, but she only smiled encouragingly. “It’s Amity.”
“What!?” she dropped her own shears as she stared at Luz as though she had grown another head. Luz’s faded flush burst back into life as she jerked back at Willow’s loud cry.
Willow quickly calmed herself at seeing Luz’s distress.
“Amity?” she asked, much quieter. Luz nodded, scratching the back of her head.
Somewhere in the back of her thoughts, Willow thought that if Amity could hear that she would have passed out from sheer joy.
“Are you mad?” the human asked nervously, which quickly brought Willow back to the conversation at hand, her surprise morphing into confusion.
“What, why would I be mad?” she blinked.
“I mean, I know you and Amity still don’t have the best relationship…,” Luz trailed off, unsure.
Oh, trust Luz to worry about something like that.
“I’m surprised,” she admitted. “But I’m not mad, Luz. Amity and I are working things out, but that’s between us, that shouldn’t affect your relationship.”
Luz’s face flared at the word.
“That’s why you’ve been upset? You have a crush on Amity?” she asked quietly and Luz nodded.
“That… and I’m not sure what I should do about it…” She thumbed the shears in her hand.
“Well… you like her… why don’t you ask her out?” Willow suggested with a shrug. “Isn’t that what most people do?”
“I can’t just ask her out!” Luz threw out her arms, eyes wide, and almost panicked looking. “We’re friends and she’s so awesome…,” she trailed off.
Amity would definitely die if she were here, Willow thought, amused.
"What kind of chance do I have?" Luz asked morosely, looking down at the floor.
Willow really wanted to tell Luz about Amity but stopped, she couldn’t.
“Well… you won’t know if you don’t try,” she finally said, smiling.
Luz blinked back at her, eyes wide.
“You... you really think I should go after Amity?” she asked quietly, glancing around at the other students in the greenhouse, but her voice was filled with disbelief that made Willow smile almost sadly at her friend.
“Yes, Luz. I think you should, I know you’re friends, but knowing Amity, she’d never not want to be friends with you, even if she didn’t return your feelings, and if she does, then you get to be more than friends.” She reached out and rested a hand on the human girl’s shoulder.
“But… what about her grom crush? There was someone she wanted to invite to grom but was too afraid to be rejected by…,” she said uncertainly.
She wanted her friends to be happy and she really wanted that for Amity, it felt selfish to try and get in the way of Amity and whoever she already had feelings for.
It took everything Willow had not to laugh. She loved Luz and the girl was much too caring and selfless, but also a little dense.
“Well, they say love is war right?”
“No one said anything about love!” Luz choked, clutching the shears, face a bright shade of scarlet that made Willow giggle.
“I just mean you have to fight for something sometimes if you really want it. You need to show Amity why she should be looking at you and not someone else. You’re funny, kind, and smart, show her.” She smiled encouragingly as she tried to hype up her unsure friend.
Luz seemed to be thinking as she fiddled with the shears in her hands anxiously before her grip on them turned solid and a look of determination settled on her face.
“You’re right!” she said, standing up straight. “I’m going to make her forget all about whoever she was going to ask to Grom.”
“Yeah!” Willow cheered her on, but internally the irony was hilarious and killing her inside simultaneously.
“I’m going to romance the heck out of her!” Luz declared, thrusting her hand, fisted around the shears into the air.
Several other students were now looking over at them strangely and Luz’s face turned red again and her hand shot back down as she hunkered over their table. Willow just smiled at her friend and shook her head, patting her on the back
She felt a little bad for Amity, knowing what was coming because if she knew Luz, it was going to be a lot. More than the hopelessly smitten girl was probably ready for.
She really wanted to tell Luz, but she knew it wasn’t her place to tell her about Amity’s feelings. It wouldn’t be right for her to hear it from her and not Amity.
The rest of the class went by with Luz trying to hide her bright red face behind some of the plants she was supposed to be working with.
It didn’t really occur to Luz until Friday morning as she was approaching the school that she had no clue how to ‘romance’ anyone, much less someone like Amity Blight.
At least this was only just now making itself known to her, rather than while she was trying to sleep last night. She’d slept pretty good too, despite waking up to Eda and Lillith screaming at each other about something stupid in the kitchen.
She decided to forego breakfast rather than walk into the kitchen where the sounds of things crashing and breaking was echoing through the entire house.
She sighed to herself, scratching her head tiredly as she walked down the dirt path that led to Hexside. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do or say when she was finally face to face with Amity.
She’d read her fair share of romance novels with all kinds of fantastical stories about people in daring situations and finally getting the girl, but she knew that the characters in her books never acted or looked like her, she wasn’t sure she could really apply much from them to her current situation.
The closer she got to school the clammier her hands got and the more her stomach twisted up into knots.
She thought it was gonna come out of her throat the minute the school came into view and she immediately spotted Amity, standing out front, talking to Gus and Willow.
She stopped cold and felt the intense desire to turn around and run back home and hide under her blankets.
Luz shook herself.
No, confidence! She had to be confident! She faced down the Emperor, she could talk to a pretty girl!
Fac now set in stony determination Luz started forward again making a beeline for Amity, whose back was to her. Willow looked up and saw the human barreling toward them with her eyes locked on Amity, and couldn’t help but grin at the look on Luz’s face as she walked up behind the unsuspecting witch.
“Hey, guys!” Luz called with a confident grin she didn’t really feel as she stopped beside Amity, throwing an arm around the mint haired girl's shoulders.
Willow had to give it to Luz, she was bold.
Amity froze solid at the arm suddenly hanging around her shoulders and clutched her books so tightly she could feel her nails digging into their leather bound covers, leaving crescent shaped divots in it. Her head jerked to the side, looking at Luz and felt her face heat up at their sudden close proximity.
“Hey, Amity.” She smiled brightly.
“Hi!” it came out much louder then she meant and mentally slapped herself as Luz flinched back at the sudden volume of her voice. “H-hi, Luz.” She managed to spit out at more normal volume, shoulders tensing.
She had accomplished her first step… or rather a fraction of a step and now Luz was at a loss for what to do, her palms were sweaty and she felt tense, she could also feel how tense Amity was under her arm. She had kind of surprised her though, which made two of them.
Though Amity was just as panicked as surprised.
'She's so close and warm!' All of Amity's other thoughts had flat-lined the moment she registered Luz's arm around her shoulders. 'Stars, she smells nice…' Even the tips of her ears grew hot at that thought.
Willow managed to cover her laugh with a cough behind her fist at the blank look on the other witch’s face.
If Gus noticed them acting weird he gave no indication as he picked the conversation back up talking about how he had finally been allowed back into the human appreciation society.
"Do you think you could come by the club on Monday and explain 'automobiles', he pronounced it with all the wrong sounds and Luz chuckled momentarily forgetting about her position slung over Amity and not at all noticing how flushed and quiet she was.
"Cars? Yea, sure." She nodded.
"No, no, automobiles," He stressed the word."
"They're the same thing."
"Fascinating…" He nodded and pulled out a notebook and jotted that down. The bell chose that time to alert them that it was time to get to class.
Willow and Gus waved before hurrying inside and reluctantly Luz dropped her arm from the tense girl’s shoulders, but Amity didn’t move, frozen.
“Hey, you okay?”
Amity jerked, coming back into the present and realizing the bell had rung already and everyone else was moving inside.
“Oh… yea.” she nodded, not looking Luz in the eyes, she was still reeling from their earlier physical contact. “I should get to class,” Amity mumbled under her breath before shooting off toward the doors.
“Wait a sec, Amity!" She called but the girl was gone, all but sprinting into the building without a single backward glance.
"Maybe she has a test today?" Luz blinked before hurrying along to her construction classes.
~ ~ ~
Similar attempts to get closer to Amity at lunch and after school ended in much the same way, including but not limited to the other girl all but tossing her lunch into the air when Luz came up behind her in the cafeteria and set a hand on her shoulder.
Luz would initiate some mild physical contact in an effort to be closer to her and Amity would turn a bright shade of red and end up running in the other direction, spouting off some excuse before Luz could get even a handful of words out.
Willow shook her head as she watched her childhood friend take off down the path that led away from the school like she was being chased by a pack of wild demons, leaving Luz standing there, arms hanging at her sides as she watched the witch run off with a disappointed look.
"You ok?" Willow asked as she walked up to her, Gus following.
“I don’t understand, what am I doing wrong?” Luz asked desperately. “She runs off before I can get a word in!” She held up her hands.
“What’s going on?” Gus looked between the two and Willow shot Luz a questioning glance before she nodded.
“Luz has a crush on Amity and wants to ask her out,” Willow explained.
“Oh!” his eyes grew wide at that as he turned to Luz, pink dusting her cheeks. She still wasn’t used to hearing that out loud. “So… you’re trying to ask her out?”
“No...well, I mean, I want to eventually yeah…, but I gotta win her over first! She… likes someone else,” she grumbled the last part, rubbing her arm.
“She does?” Gus blinked and Luz nodded glumly.
“There was someone she wanted to ask to grom… if I knew who it was at least I would know what kind of chances I had…” She frowned, crossing her arms.
“Don’t worry about that Luz, you shouldn’t worry about comparing yourself to someone else, just focus on being yourself,” Willow assured and Gus nodded eagerly in agreement. “That being said…” she started slowly making her and Gus look at her. “I think you’re coming off a little strong…” That was putting it mildly.
Every time Willow had seen her today the girl had been as red as a cup of apple blood and she couldn’t totally pin that on Luz, despite how touchy feely she was, Amity was rather sensitive to any attention from Luz.
“What do you mean?” Luz didn’t seem insulted, just curious. She really wasn’t in a position to be turning down any advice considering she had barely gotten two sentences out to Amity today.
For once she was glad they hadn’t had any classes together today.
“Well, you were very… touchy, and I know that’s just you, but it might be a little too much too quickly. From what I remember, Amity’s family aren’t the most… affectionate.” she finally settled on.
Gus nodded sagely, crossing his arms.
“You’re freaking her out,” he said, picking up on what Willow was saying.
Luz suddenly remembered every time she and Amity had been in close proximity and how fidgety and red she had been and moaned to herself. She had been making her uncomfortable all this time without knowing.
“I’m not trying to!” Luz groaned, holding her head in her hands. “I just… I don’t know how else to express myself!”
“Maybe give her flowers?” Gus suggested with a shrug, not having any better ideas then Luz.
“No!” Willow shot down immediately, knowing the consequences with Amity’s current state of smitten. Total meltdown. This was going to require a more delicate touch. “That might freak her out, coming from Luz…”
“What, why?” Luz questioned with a frown and Willow had to think fast.
“Right now, Amity only sees you as a friend, coming at her with romantic feelings out of the blue would also freak her out.” she shook her head. Not a lie.
“What am I supposed to do then?” Luz sighed, plopping down onto the school steps with a quiet thump.
Willow scratched her chin thoughtfully. It was a problem, she knew that any romantic attention from Luz, physical or otherwise would send Amity into a conniption.
“What if… she didn’t know it was you?” she suggested.
“Huh?” Luz blinked up at her.
“I mean, what if you could get Amity to fall for you without even knowing it’s you at first?” She suggested.
“Like… a secret admirer?” she asked, straightening up.
“Yeah! Like, you could leave gifts or notes in her locker or places you know she’d find them.”
Immediately she could see the gears in Luz’s head beginning to spin and slowly a grin began to split her face before she jumped up.
“Willow, that’s a great idea!” Luz was beaming from ear to ear as she wrapped the plant witch up in a bone crushing hug that made her squeak.
“Of course”, she wheezed from her friend's grip.
“It's just like in one of my books…,” Luz squealed, finally letting go and bouncing excitedly on her toes. “Plan secret romance is a go!” she held up a fist with a determined grin.
“Yes!” Gus pulled out his flags and waved them excitedly.
“I need to go start planning!”
Willow giggled at Luz’s excitement.
“Um.. would you guys help me?” she asked with a sheepish grin.
Willow and Gus shared a knowing look before turning back to her.
“Of course, Luz.”
“Sweet, let’s go!” She took off down the path toward the owl house with Gus and Willow trailing behind.
It started on Monday morning.
Amity got to school early so she could have some peace and quiet away from her siblings and classmates to study for an upcoming test in her abominations class. The twins had been especially chaotic all weekend while their parents had been out of town for business, blasting music and just being a general nuisance, though not directly to her.
Of which they informed their children with a simple note on the counter when they had discovered when they had come home from school on Friday afternoon. No goodbyes or anything.
Nothing unusual about that though.
At least Edric and Emira hadn’t bothered her much, while their parents were away the twins took the opportunity to play; which suited her fine.
She’d spent most of Friday evening trying to decipher Luz’s sudden… touchiness. Not that she was complaining. She didn’t think it was a human thing, Luz had always been physical with her affections but Friday just seemed extra.
Or she was just seeing what she wanted to see. The thought caused her to frown. Every time Luz got close she sent her into a spiral. All she could think about was how kind and amazing she was and how much she wanted to be near her, which caused the inevitable panic as so many emotions flooded her at once. Ones she wasn’t well equipped to manage, apparently.
This was ridiculous, she could be completely calm and the second Luz’s stupidly cute face and smile popped into view, it felt like her heart was going to beat right out of her chest as it slammed against her rib cage.
Somehow, someway, she needed to get a handle on this, Luz probably already thought she was a spaz after she had fled from her Friday and tossed her entire lunch tray across the cafeteria, splattering a few students when Luz just set a hand on her shoulder.
She sighed and shook her head. The fact that no one, much less Luz, had caught on to her strange behavior was the one silver lining here she supposed.
The idea of trying to tell Luz how she felt made her feel like she had swamp-flu; nauseous, clammy, and fevered. Her fear of being rejected by the object of her affections was still alive and well, a shadow on her heart.
Trying to ask her to grom had been a disaster in and of itself.
Though it did have the unintended perk of getting Luz to dance with her anyway, even if it wasn’t exactly the circumstances Amity had hoped for. She’d never admit it, but when she had crafted her gromposal she had envisioned something a little more… romantic. Her cheeks flushed pink at the thought.
Partly embarrassment and part disappointment for having allowed herself to believe for one minute that such a thing had been possible.
Yes, Luz had technically gone to grom with her, she loved every moment of their dance and taking down Grometheus together, and she would always hold that memory fondly in her heart, even if it was tainted with the bitter disappointment she felt at the words Luz had said after saying she would go to grom with her.
‘That’s what friends do.’
Something in her twinged at the memory just as it had when those words had passed Luz’s lips.
Luz had taken pity on her and her cowardice at not being able to just hand that little slip of paper over to the one person she wanted to see it more than anything.
She shut her eyes tightly, clutching her books to her chest at the ache there. With another sigh, she pushed the thoughts aside as she walked down the hall to her locker.
There were no students around at this time of morning and the halls were quiet as she walked up to it, already beginning to open her bag as she stopped in front of the locker.
Before she could reach out to tickle the creature into opening its mouth, it opened, promptly spitting something out at her.
She shrieked, holding up her hands to ward off the projectile.
Whatever it was bounced off her harmlessly and fell to the floor.
Blinking, Amity lowered her arms to look at the bouquet of Blood-Blossoms at her feet.
“Huh?” she said aloud to the empty hallway before reaching down to pick them up.
The large, bell-shaped flowers with bright yellow centers and petals the color of, well, blood, were beautiful.
Why had someone put these in her locker? Blood-Blossoms were expensive and traditionally only given with romantic intentions.
She turned the bouquet around in her hands before noticing a small slip of paper tucked between the stems. She pulled it free and unfolded it. Her face heating up as she read the words written in a gentle sloping hand.
These flowers could never be as beautiful as you, but I hope you like them anyway,
Your Secret Admirer.’
A little heart dotted the ‘i’ in her name.
Her flush spread to the tips of her ears in a wash of crimson
She folded the paper and looked back at the flowers, reaching out a careful hand to run her fingers over them.
The petals were soft and smooth under her finger tips as she examined them. She took a tentative sniff. A deep, sweet, floral scent filled her senses.
She couldn’t help the soft smile that had worked its way onto her face as she gazed at them.
At the far end of the hall, a pair of dark brown eyes peeked around the corner, out from under a hood.
Luz grinned stupidly to herself before quickly dashing down an adjacent hall, feeling giddy and cheeks pink at the thought of the look on Amity’s face as she examined the flowers fondly.
That was more than worth having to get to school at an ungodly hour to ensure she made it before Amity, who was notorious for arriving even before their teachers at times.
Also the snails she would need to pay Eda back by making potion deliveries all of Saturday, as well as her mentor’s subsequent teasing when she had told her what she needed the money for. Despite that she had handed it over readily.
Her heart fluttered in her chest.
So totally worth it!
That night Amity put the flowers in a vase on her desk, admiring their beauty as she worked on her homework, the note was slipped into one of her desk drawers.
Even if she was completely enamored with Luz, it was still flattering that someone went through the trouble for her and they were beautiful.
“Hey, Mittens.” Amity tensed up, whipping around to see her sister leaning against the door frame, but not her brother.
“What?” Amity asked, exasperated already.
“Good evening to you too,” Emira chuckled as she walked into the room and immediately noticed the new addition to her sister’s desk.
“Oh, those are pretty, someone gave you Blood-Blossoms?” Emira turned to look at her with a cocked brow. “Who's that brave?” she asked teasingly.
Amity rolled her eyes but relented, one twin wasn’t usually too bad, it was when her brother and sister were together and feeding off each other that they could become unbearable.
Also, they were twins, but there was a certain bond she and Emira shared being sisters, there were things she could, on a rare occasion,share with her sister that she just couldn't share with Ed.
“I don’t know.” she shrugged. “They were in my locker this morning, from a secret admirer.” She watched Emira reach out and touch the petals with gentle fingers, admiring their beauty.
“Oh, mysterious, wonder who has the hots for you…” Emira grinned as Amity’s cheeks reddened. Her little sister always was so easy to fluster.
“I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter,” she grunted, turning back to the papers sitting in front of her.
“Aw, you're no fun, why not?” Emira pressed, poking her sister in the arm. Amity violently swatted at the offending appendage with a growl, making Em grin.
“I don’t have time for that sort of thing and I’m not interested in anyone like that,” she huffed and Emira chuckled, making Amity look up at her with narrowed eyes.
“Come on, Mittens; we both know that’s not true.” She smiled knowingly and Amity felt herself seize up at the words. She had to be bluffing, there was no way Emira knew.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She frowned and Emira rolled her eyes as she crossed her arms over her chest, cocking a hip as she stared down at her little sister with a knowing look.
“Hey, it’s okay, I get it; those dark brown eyes and round ears are pretty cute.” She grinned as Amity burned red at her words.
With a twirl of her finger, a pink spell circle appeared and her door slammed closed as she jumped up.
“Does Ed know too, who are you going to tell, what are you planning?!” she all but snarled and the amused smile on her sister’s face fell away.
A wave of guilt washed over the older girl that Amity’s first reaction to her revealing that she knew about her crush on Luz was panic and fear did not make her feel great, not that she could blame Amity.
She and Edric had been a little much there for a while. They both agreed that the diary incident and the danger Amity had faced afterward because of them had been over the line and they needed to do better.
They loved to give their straight-laced little sister a hard time, but they did love her and never meant to really hurt her, physical or otherwise.
“Hey, hey, relax, Amity.” Emira held up her hands and Amity paused at the use of her name. “Ed doesn’t know.” she rolled her eyes. Her brother could be a dork at the best of times and occasionally as oblivious as Luz. “I’m not going to tell anyone,” she promised. Amity slowly relaxed, all her tight muscles going slack.
“You’re really not going to tell anyone, not even Ed?” she asked with suspicion still lingering.
“Nope, keep it just between sisters.” she smiled, walking over to the door. “You could do much worse, Luz is pretty fun, not to mention cute.” She winked at her sister over her shoulder before leaving just as quickly as she had come.
Amity huffed to herself before turning back to her desk and trying to focus on her work.
Now all she could think about were warm brown eyes and that bright smile.
Tuesday Amity had class with Luz, and she both adored and hated it in equal measure.
Well, maybe 80/20 with adored eeking out the win by a hair
On the one hand, working with Luz and her antics was fun, doing silly impressions of their abominations professor, passing her notes with cute doodles and making wonky abominations from her messed up abomination slurry never failed to make her giggle like a schoolgirl…
Which she supposed, she technically was.
On the other hand Luz distracted her. A lot.
When she was around it was a task to get anything done with her smiling at her like that, or nudging her with her elbow to show her something every few minutes.
She sighed as she walked into class, surprised to see Luz already at their normally shared table.
She was flipping through the book Amity had given her last week with rapt interest and jotting notes into one of her notebooks.
She smiled, glad that Luz was actually using it, she had been nervous that she had only accepted it to be polite, but she had her face buried in the yellowed pages, eyes scanning the words with rapt attention that was rare for her.
She didn't even notice Amity walk up to the table or set her books down before sliding into the seat beside her.
“Hey, Luz,” she called, making the human jump, head whipping to face her in surprise.
“Oh! Amity, hey!” She rested a cheek on her fist and forced a grin, hoping the witch couldn’t tell how nervous she was.
‘Remember what Willow said, be patient, play it cool…’
“Are you ready for the test?” Amity asked as casually as she was able while she arranged her notes on the table.
“Test?” Luz blinked.
Amity turned to her and could see the confusion slowly morphing to panic on her crush’s face.
“Oh, crud, I forgot about the test!” she hissed. Slapping her hands against the sides of her face and squishing her cheeks in a panic. Luz’s panic shouldn’t have been funny but her face, smooshed between her hands, was too cute for Amity to resist the quiet chuckle that escaped under her breath, Luz caught it though.
“It’s not funny, I completely forgot to study this weekend, I’m gonna fail…,” she groaned, dropping her face onto the book's open pages with a thump.
“No, you’re right, I’m sorry. What were you doing all weekend?” she asked.
“ Um…,” Luz hummed from her face down position as she thought about how she, Gus and Willow had spent most of Friday night and Saturday brainstorming things she could do or give to Amity to win her over and Sunday she’d had to help Eda collect potion ingredients in the woods. “Errands with Eda…” she settled on, looking up at the gold eyes peering down on her, which was partially true.
“I guess it couldn’t be helped then,” she sighed, sliding her notes to the middle of the table between them. “We still have some time before class starts, we can cram,” she offered, looking back at Luz, who was smiling at her in a way that made her stomach do a somersault. She forced away the heat that she could feel crawling up her face.
The witch nodded jerkily, staring down at her notes and suddenly feeling bold, scooted her chair closer to Luz. Just so they could both better study her notes of course.
‘Play it cool… play it cool!’ Luz chanted in her head as she tried to focus on Amity’s class notes.
Amity seemed totally unperturbed, but diving into class work, she was in her element and totally oblivious to Luz’s internal struggle.
This was going to be harder than Luz thought.
The witch just has a gravitational pull on her she can’t explain, even before she acknowledged her feelings, but now more than ever all Luz wanted is to be close to her. She knows she is supposed to be keeping her distance somewhat, as Willow and Gus had suggested but she can’t help it. She just vibrates with energy at the prospect of spending time with Amity.
Preferably alone. A thought that sends her heart into a thundering pace inside her chest.
She still finds herself actively seeking out Amity before or after class on days they don’t have them together. She’s pretty sure Willow has caught on because she rolls her eyes and shakes her head in fond exasperation whenever she runs off with a lame excuse to seek out the mint haired girl. Despite being in on her little secret, Gus seems completely oblivious to it though.
She knew that she's supposed to be winning Amity over anonymously, so the witches' feelings won't be influenced as much by their current friendship so that she could see that they could be more, but she just can’t help herself.
It’s Friday and she hoped with the incoming weekend that Amity might have some free time for the Boiling Isles resident human today. She still had to spend all of tomorrow running errands for Eda and as much as she’d prefer not to, she really needed to study Sunday, as well as help the Clawthorne sisters train with glyphs.
As soon as the bell lets out its regular scream signaling the end of the day she bolted for the door and dashed down the hallways toward Amity's locker.
“Sorry, ‘scuse me!” she called around herds of other students as she dodged and weaved around them as they fill Hexside’s halls.
She skidded around the corner just as Amity is opening her locker and setting her books inside.
"Hey, Amity!" she called as she barreled down the hall, giddy at the sight of the girl. Amity looked up and saw her, and gave her that small sheepish smile Luz has come to adore as she waved.
"Hi, Luz, how were your healing track classes?" she asked, pushing a loose strand of mint-colored hair behind one of her pointed ears and maybe Luz watched the movement far more closely then she should have.
"Great, I learned how to make this paste that heals small cuts and bruises…" She smiled.
"Well, that should come in handy for you," Amity teased with a grin.
Luz gave a loud, dramatic gasp, a hand resting on her chest.
"Are you implying something about me, Miss Blight?" she asked with mock indignation that made Amity giggle behind her hand.
"Not at all, Miss Noceda." Amity replied and the way her surname rolled off Amity's tongue made Luz's knees go weak.
“I was thinkin’ since it’s Friday, do you wanna maybe go to the library and have book club?” she asked hopefully, but those hopes are immediately dashed by the fallen look on Amity’s face. “If you don’t want to, it's fi-” She doesn't get to finish as Amity cuts her off.
“I do!” she cringed at her volume. “I do, but my parents want me to come home right after school. They’re having some work associates over for dinner tonight…,” she trailed off.
‘I have to be there to play dress up for them.’ She kept that part to herself even as she thought the bitter thought.
“Oh, it’s okay, another time?” she asked, doing her best to keep the disappointment out of her voice and she thought she had, but the dejected look on Amity’s face told her that she needs more practice in concealing her emotions.
Before she can speak though a pair of arms draped over her shoulders, making Luz jump.
“Hi, Luz.” her name sounded in stereo in her ears and she realized it’s the twins draped over her.
“Hey, guys.” She looked at Edric and Emira as they removed themselves from her to stand next to Amity, who already looked mildly annoyed at her siblings’ appearance.
“Long time no see, cutie.” Emira winked, Edric grinned and Amity scowled, face turning red and not in the usual way Luz has become accustomed to, it's definitely an angry red and she seems to be looking at Emira specifically.
“We go to the same school and it seems like we hardly ever see you,” Edric lamented with a sigh as he draped an arm around Amity’s shoulder and dropped his cheek to the top of her head.
She wasteed no time elbowing him in the gut and he quickly retreated with a pained grin that made Luz chuckle.
“Yeah, Mittens has been hogging you.” Emira pouted as she crossed her arms.
“Ah, well…,” Luz mumbled, unsure what to say to the tricky duo.
“Can we just go?” Amity growled at her siblings. “I’ll see you later, Luz.” She smiled at the other girl before walking off down the hall without waiting for her siblings.
Edric and Emira looked at each other and chuckled before Edric hurrieed off after their little sister.
“Bye, Luz.” He smiled.
“She can be so cranky, maybe we’ll take her to the Redstone bakery next weekend and get her some of those treats she likes so much.” Emira turned to Luz. “She can never get enough of their Thornberry tarts,” she said
“Thornberry tarts?” Luz questioned with interest.
“Yup, it’s like her favorite treat. Well, I better catch up to them, see ya later, Luz.” Emira winked before trotting down the hall after her siblings.
Luz watched as the Blight siblings disappeared before shouldering her bag a little higher and headed out of the school straight for the owl house.
She was disappointed that she wouldn’t get to hang out with Amity, but she had gotten some useful information out of it.
By Saturday afternoon Luz was exhausted. She had spent the whole day delivering potions for Eda in return for the money she had lent her to buy the flowers.
“For Amity,” she mumbled to herself as she trotted to and fro across Bonesburough with heavy bags of potions in their glass bottles. Even as her arms burned it was still worth it to have seen that smile on Amity’s face and know that she had been the cause.
“Thank you very much.” The old wrinkled shopkeep nodded as she took her delivery.
“No problem.” Luz smiled.
“For your trouble, child.” She held out a hand and Luz blinked as she held up a hand and a handful of snails dropped into her open palm making her eyes lit up.
“Thank you very much!” Luz grinned before taking off, all her deliveries were done, but now she had an unplanned stop to make.
With the handful of snails in her pocket, she headed straight for the bakery that Emira had mentioned. The market was bustling with people all haggling and making deals with the various vendors that lined the streets and after living with Eda for the nearly two months she had, she knew to be wary of pickpockets, keeping one hand shoved into the pocket of her shorts, clutched around the money.
She had to stop and ask for directions a couple of times but finally found the small, unassuming bakery on the corner, it’s front windows were full of both delicious and strange-looking treats that Luz could only guess at.
She pushed open the door and a bell overhead chimed.
The large man behind the counter looked at her as she came in.
“Welcome to the Redstone bakery!” he called and Luz grinned and trotted up to the counter. “What can I do for you?” he asked, leaning over the counter to look at her.
“Thornberry tart?” she asked like she’s not sure and he nodded, walking over to the case and pulls out a palm-sized treat that looks like any tart from her world, with deep red filling. He put it in a box and told her the total. She handed over the snails happily and left the shop with her prize and money still in her pocket. A win in her book.
She took her time walking back and perusing the stalls while humming a happy tune.
She happened to be passing by a booth when something caught her attention. A small stall selling an array of glittering jewelry and the like. Eda isn’t expecting her back at any given time, so there's no harm to stop and browse. She walked up to inspect the offerings. The four-eyed, scaly merchant behind the stall eyes her warily but says nothing as she keeps her hands in plain sight wrapped around the box her tart is in.
The gems shimmer and shine in the sunlight, nearly blinding her at certain angles.
Then, something catches her attention. A small trinket and not half as grand as some of the things on display but she can only think of one person as soon as she sees it.
Upon seeing the sudden gleam in her eyes the merchant finally addressed her.
“See something you like?” His voice is scratchy and low.
“How much for this?” she asked, pointing to the item in question. He glanced at it.
“Eighty snails.” Luz’s heart sank at that. She has five left and as good as she’s gotten at bargaining by learning from Eda, she knows there's no way she could get him to agree to that.
“Ah… thanks…” She smiled, downtrodden, and started to turn away.
“Hold on there, tiny.” The merchant called, a scaled tail swaying behind him. “I have a lot of fine pieces here, what makes that one so special?” And he’s right, next to the many bejeweled pieces that look like they cost more than her, it must seem like an odd choice, so small, with a single tiny gem.
“Professional curiosity,” he said with a shrug.
“Well, when I saw it, it reminded me of someone,” she explained.
“Someone special?” he asked and his four eyes blink as he regarded her curiously from behind the stand. Her face flushed and his question is answered but he waits for her answer anyway.
“Very special…” she nodded her head, fiddling with the tart box.
He humed, looking Luz over.
“How much you got?” he finally asked.
He grimaced but seems to be thinking.
“How bout a deal?” he said after a long moment. Luz looked at him, curious but wary. “I have a package I need delivered to another shop on the other side of town, but I've been pretty busy today and don’t wanna leave and miss out on customers. Give me the five and deliver the package and it’s yours.” He offered and Luz is practically vibrating with excitement.
“Deal!” She grinned brightly and he grunted but smirked as he reached beneath the stall and pulled out a wrapped parcel and gave her directions to where it needs to go.
She wasted no time taking it to its destination. It takes her about an hour to get there and back, dropping it off at another shop.
When she got back, sweaty and tired she handed over the receipt for the package as well as her five remaining snails and he nodded, taking the trinket out of its case and slipping it in a small maroon-colored velvet box before handing it over.
“Thank you so much!” she called as she took off running back to the owl house with her tart and newest acquisition clutched firmly in hand and a bright grin on her face.
~ ~ ~
Despite just coming off the weekend Amity was tired.
Friday nights dinner had taken a lot out of her.
Honestly? She preferred it when her parents mostly forgot they even had children. It was easier for her and the twins.
With that dark thought, she trudged through the school halls with Emira and Edric following behind her and talking quietly to each other, choosing to let her stew in her foul mood. They had as good a time at the dinner as she had, which was to say none at all.
“I’m almost glad to be back at school.” Edric huffed as they walked up to Amity’s locker. Emira made a sound of agreement.
Amity pulled her book out of her bag as she walked up to her locker but before she could reach out its mouth popped open and its tongue slid out to reveal a small box bearing the Redstone bakeries logo.
Amity blinked, heart, beating a little faster as she picked it up. A folded slip of paper was taped to the lid.
She pulled it free and unfolded it.
A sweet Monday morning to you, Your secret Admirer’
The same handwriting and little heart over the ‘i’.
Amity froze at the twins' chorus behind her.
“Someone’s after your heart, Mittens.” Edric teased with a wide, toothy grin. Emira hummed knowingly.
Amity growled but ignored them as she opened the lid of the box and stared wide-eyed at the treat sitting inside, saliva began to fill her mouth at the sight.
A Thornberry tart.
How did this person know?
“Oh, Thornberry tart!” Edric grinned. "Can I have some?" He reached for the box, which Amity slapped shut and hissed at her brother warningly, baring her teeth at him.
"Just a bite!"
Emira watched them squabble with a knowing smirk.
At lunch Amity sat with Willow, Gus, and Luz, and practically inhaled the treat, her happiness is apparent In every pleasurable sound she made with every bite. Her terrible weekend was all but forgotten.
Luz smiled brightly as she watched from the corner of her eye and thinks that she would make deliveries for Eda every Saturday if it meant making Amity that happy.
Luz starts Wednesday by slipping a piece of paper into Amity's locker first thing in the morning before anyone else arrives at school. No gift this time, she's waiting for the perfect time to give Amity her final gift, one she really hopes she'll love.
~ ~ ~
‘All the gold in the Boiling Isles could never shine as bright as your eyes.’ ~ Your Secret Admirer.
It’s one simple line and it’s undeniably corny as far as lines go and yet, it makes her ears burn hotter than it should.
She's really started wondering who it is that's been leaving her these gifts, it's interesting and she's undeniably a little flattered at the effort they're putting in.
It's suspicious too.
No one outside her family knows about her affinity for Thornberry tarts. It’s possibly a coincidence but it just feels to spot on to be one.
She interrogates Emira and Edric, who swear on an eternal oath that they didn’t put the tart in her locker or ask anyone else to do it for them. They’re telling the truth, which leaves her even more confused.
She’s looked at all the notes several times and comes to at least one solid conclusion: They’re written by a girl.
She’s never met a boy who had handwriting as neat as this, of that she’s sure.
The other thing that bugs her is that it looks familiar, but she wracks her brain for a long time and can’t place where she’s seen the handwriting before.
She knows with certainty that it's not Boscha or any of her cohort, so why does it seem so familiar? It bugs her.
Amity likes mysteries, but she has discovered that she enjoys them more when she's not at the center of them.
She's so deep in thought that she doesn't hear the quick patter of feet coming up behind her.
She jerks at the voice she both loves and dreads to hear. Whipping around she comes almost nose to nose with Luz and makes a garbled sound as she jerks back.
"Oh, sorry…" Luz grins sheepishly, taking a step back.
"It's okay…," Amity grumbles, straightening herself out I'm trying to look more put together than she feels at Luz’s sudden close proximity. It’s to early in the morning for this.
"Whatcha got?" Luz asks, seeing the note in Amity's hand and feels giddy at the flush that is still staining her cheeks.
"Oh, well…," Amity explains the note as well as the other gifts she had been getting from this ‘secret admirer’ Maybe Luz can help her puzzle it out.
“Sounds like someone has the hots for you.” She smiles coyly and shoots the witch a pair of finger guns. “Can’t blame ‘em.” Amity’s faded pink face is suddenly crimson, even her neck is red. It feels like her whole body must be glowing red after Luz says that with that sly smile.
“I-it… they...you…” She can barely form words much less even half a sentence.
‘Maybe that was too much…’ Luz thinks to herself as Amity struggles to form coherent thoughts over the shrieking in her head.
“Seriously though, I think it’s kinda romantic, don’t you?” she fishes, hoping to get a feel of Amity's feelings about all this once her face has returned to a normal color.
“I… guess, yes.” she nodded, smiling. "I just… feel a little bad for whoever it is is going through all this trouble …I can’t return their feelings." She looks down at the note, smile falling.
"Because of your grom crush?" Luz asks, frowning too, that definitely wasn’t what she wanted to hear and she felt frustration bubble up in her gut. She quickly tries to stomp it down.
Amity bites her lip, and glances at Luz from the corner of her eye, and gives a little nod.
“What if they’re from whoever you wanted to invite to grom?” Luz tries, curious what kind of response the question would get and immediately regrets it at the sudden distressed and melancholy look on Amity’s face, her eyes are cast down, locked on the note.
“They’re not,” is all she says, but it’s said with a sad certainty that makes Luz’s brow crinkle with concern.
“You don’t know…,” she starts, not even sure why she’s pushing this, she’s supposed to be trying to win Amity over from this mysterious person, not encouraging it, as selfish as that makes her feel.
Amity quickly cuts off anything else she might have been about to say, which is good because Luz isn’t even sure at this point where she was going with the line of questioning, but Amity’s tone does not make her feel one ounce better.
“Yes, I do.” The note crumples in her fist as she lets the mouth of her locker snap shut. “I need to go to class, bye Luz.” She hurries away without another glance, leaving Luz standing alone in the middle of the hall.
She frowns, watching Amity disappear before a growl slips out of her throat and she runs her hands violently through her hair, anything to let out some of her angry energy.
All she did was make Amity feel bad!
Why was she so bad at this!? Her fit of frustration burns out quickly and she sighs tiredly, eyes downcast.
How could she make this better? It didn’t seem like this was the right move after all, or at least she wished she had never opened her mouth about Amity’s grom crush.
“Good going, Noceda,” she grumbled to herself as she headed to class.
It's sometime after lunch when she starts hearing the rumors whispered among the other students.
She only hears muttered snippets as she passes by groups of kids talking among themselves.
The Blue moon.
She's intrigued by whatever it is that has the student body so excited. It sounds like something is going on at Amity’s house and she’d like to ask her, but Amity hadn’t sat with them at lunch today, seemingly avoiding them, but Luz knew she was actually avoiding her and her heart twisted at the thought.
She’d pushed too hard. What else was new?
Maybe she would never learn to look before she leaped into situations.
While she ultimately decides to leave Amity be for the rest of the day that doesn’t stop her from running headlong into a different Blight at her locker.
Luz jumps as Emira appears, leaning against the lockers with that knowing smirk she’s come to associate with the elder Blight children.
“Oh, hey, Emira. Where’s Edric?” She glances around but the girl’s other half is nowhere in sight.
“Our professor wanted to talk to him, which was lucky because I want to talk to you.” She smiles and Luz looks up at her.
“Uh, sure, what about?” she asks, putting some stuff in her locker.
“Your crush on, Mittens.”
Luz freezes, dropping the book she had been holding.
“W-What? I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she stammers, face heating up.
“Uh-huh, so just a couple days after I mention Thornberry tarts to you, Mitten’s secret admirer just so happens to put one in her locker?” Emira is still smirking like the cat that ate the canary and Luz’s palms are clammy.
“What a crazy coincidence?” It sounds more like a question than a statement. Emira keeps looking at her but Luz holds fast to her denial. “Sorry, Emira, I don’t know what to say. Coincidences and stuff.” She grins and it’s so cracked and forced Emira almost feels bad.
“Hey, Em, you ready to go? We still have invitations to hand out” Edric walks up to them, drawing Emira’s intense gaze off Luz.
It’s then that Luz remembers all the quiet whispers.
“Are you guys having a party?” Luz looks at the twins who smile in unison.
“Sure are, a dance, Saturday, on the night of the blue moon.” Edric informs her.
“A masquerade party, you’re not allowed to reveal who you are until the end of the night.” Emira finishes.
“Oh, that sounds so cool!” Luz bounces on her toes. “Can I come?” she asks, looking between the twins with barely restrained glee.
The Blight twins share a long look, seemingly having a silent conversation with each other before Emira reaches into her pock and pulls out a small, dark purple and black envelope and places it in Luz’s eager hands.
“Thanks, guys!” She grins and the twins smile.
“We’re handing invitations out to people so that no one knows who else is going to be there; Increases the mystery.” Edric grinned.
“So don’t tell anyone who could be a possible guest that you’re going, ok?” Emira holds up a finger.
“Got it!” Luz salutes and the twins’ chuckle.
“We better get going, see ya around, Luz.” Edric waves.
“Bye,” Emira smiles and winks before the two turn a corner and vanish from her sight.
Luz looks down at the violet envelope with black trim and puts it in her bag. She’ll look at it when she gets home.
She heads back to the owl house, not seeing Amity out front and she figured as much but it still stings that Amity is most likely avoiding her.
Eda and Lilith are sitting on the couch practicing their glyphs when she walks in.
"Hey, guys." She smiles.
"Hello, Luz." Lilith nods
"Hey, kid." Eda looks up at her and grins. "How was school?"
Luz hums with a frown as she plops herself onto the floor at the coffee table across from the two sisters.
"It was okay… I think Amity is mad at me…," she mutters.
"How come?" Eda leans back and looks at her apprentice questioningly.
Luz explains what happened at Amity's locker after lunch and the sisters share a knowing look.
"I don't think she's mad at you, Luz." Eda finally says.
"Well, maybe not mad…," Luz corrects "more like, I upset her." Though there wasn't much distinction if you asked Luz.
"Well, you probably did that yeah." Eda nods and Luz slumps. Lilith rolls her eyes at her sister's bluntness. "I guarantee you, she should get over it soon enough," Eda goes on, and the look on her face is one of knowing that Luz can't decipher but she just sighs and flops onto her back on the living room floor.
"I just wish I knew what to do… should I stop all this nonsense and just give up?" she asks aloud to no one in particular.
"No!" both Clawthorne sisters shout, making Luz look up at them with wide eyes.
"What we mean is…," Lilith starts when Eda looks at her with a face that clearly says she doesn't know what to say to explain their reaction without giving anything away. "Sometimes persistence is key. For now, you should continue on as you have, you haven't yet given Amity the chance to actually accept or turn you down. A little more time and effort may be the key," she says.
"Yeah, what Lilly said." Eda nods along. "You still haven't given her that little trinket you bought her," she reminds.
"Yeah…" Luz trails off uncertainly, thinking of the small maroon-colored box tucked away in the chest in her room.
She sits up and digs through her bag, finding the dark-colored envelope the twins have given her and peeling open the seal.
It's a simple card, it read the date, time, and location.
Saturday, 8 pm at Blight manor.
As well as a line reading that formal wear and mask are required.
She hums in thought.
"Whatcha got?" Eda asks and Luz hands over the invitation for the sisters to look at.
"Masquerade party, huh?"
"Ahh, I've been to one of the Blight parents masquerades before." Lilith says. "it's quite interesting the things some people will do behind the anonymity of an enchanted mask," Lilith says, picking up her teacup sitting on the table and taking a long sip.
"Enchanted?" Luz is immediately interested. Lilith nods.
"The sort of masks used at these parties are enchanted with a minor glimmer, in order to conceal the person's identity even from someone who knows them."
"So if I wore one of those masks, even my friends wouldn’t recognize me?" She looks between the two and Lilith nods
"Yes, but if at any point you take off the mask and they see your face the glimmer will no longer work."
"That's so cool!" Luz grins and Lilith smiles at the girl's enthusiasm. The young human has grown on her in the last couple of weeks.
"Maybe you should wear a mask when you tell baby Blight how you feel?" Eda snorts a laugh but Luz blinks at her wide-eyed.
"Eda!" She jumps up. "That's a great idea!"
"It is?" the sisters echo.
"Yes, I can introduce myself as her secret admirer at the party where she doesn't know who I am and win her over!" Luz explains to the two.
"Well, it's not the worst plan you've ever had," Eda admits.
"It certainly has an air of romance." Lilith agrees.
"One problem kid. The glimmer on those masks are designed for witches, it's not going to cover those ears, which will give you away faster than A Slitherbeast can swallow a jackalope." Her mentor points out.
Luz reaches up to touch her distinctly rounded ears.
"I'll… figure something out…" she says.
"Well, you need some fancy duds then…, you can't wear what you wore to grom it'll give you away. The glimmer only works on your face. Hold that thought." With that, she stands from the couch and disappears up the stairs.
Lilith and Luz share a confused look. After a few minutes, Eda comes back with a small pouch and holds it out to luz who takes it and almost drops the small, but heavy bag.
She can feel and hear the snails jingling in the bag and looks up at Eda with a confused face.
"Take this and run to town, buy what you need," her mentor says.
"What, no! I can't take your money, I just paid you back for the flowers!" She tries to hand back the money but Eda holds up a hand.
"Look, Luz don't worry about paying me back, if you get the girl I'll consider it money well spent."
Luz looks up at her with wide, watery eyes, and Eda sighs before holding out her arms just as Luz flings herself into her, almost knocking the older witch over.
"I love you, Eda," she mumbles into her torso and Eda squeezed her back, resting her chin on the girl's head.
"I love you too, kiddo." With that, she pulls away and turns Luz around before giving her a gentle shove toward the door. "Now go, before the shops close, remember it's formal; no otter suits."
Luz takes off with a grin, ignoring Hooty's attempts at conversation about a bug he saw earlier as she goes.
"And make sure it's something you can wear to your next three school dances because that's the only pair of fancy pants I'm going to fund!" Eda calls out after her as she runs down the dirt path leading to Bonesburrough.
On Friday Amity is tired, but she relishes every minute she spends at school and not home, because the weekend was looking to be just as exhausting.
Blue moon masquerades are a Blight family tradition, her parents have been throwing the parties for as long as she can remember and it’s a tradition that they begin throwing these parties at sixteen. With this being the first blue moon since the twins turned sixteen it's finally time for them to do it.
Normally the two are all about parties, but considering all the rules and protocols their parents have set for the event, any enthusiasm the twins might have had is well and truly dead before the party planning even begins.
Now it’s just one more thing expected of them and Amity can tell how much they hate it, so she tries to help them with the planning whenever she can.
Someday it will be her turn after all.
She also still has yet to speak to Luz since Wednesday and she feels bad about it, but facing her is too hard right now, especially when the object of her affections seems to be actively pushing her toward this secret admirer she has.
She clutches her book to her chest as she walks down Hexside’s quiet and deserted hallways.
Maybe Luz is just a pipe-dream she needs to try and forget about. She was never going to have the courage to face her and tell her how she feels, and if Luz had any inclination toward her at all she wouldn’t be advocating so hard for a mysterious stranger.
Her lips quiver and her eyes burn but she quickly shoves it down. She is not going to cry at school, she’s a Blight!
A mantra she uses to steel herself even as she hates it.
She shakes her head and continues on toward her locker.
When she stops to stand in front of it the creature looks annoyed and she realizes why when it opens its mouth unprompted and sticks out its tongue.
She's started to get a little more used to these surprises but the one waiting for her this morning makes her gasp.
Sitting there on her locker's tongue is a small maroon colored velvet box she knows immediately is a jewelry box. A piece of folded paper sitting beneath it.
She hesitates a minute before picking up the box and the note. Curiosity gets the better of her and she opens the box before anything else and stares wide-eyed and mouth slightly agape.
Nestled within the satin lining is a brooch.
Fine lines of gold shaped to look like thorned vines twist and loop in random but pleasing patterns, overlapping each other in places. At the center of the vines is a small tear-shaped gemstone in a gold setting. She's not sure what kind, but it's a deep fuchsia color that sparkles and gleams when it catches a stray beam of light from the hallways overhead lights.
It's beautiful and Amity is in awe of it as she pulls it from its box with hesitant fingers and holds it gently in her hand. She runs her thumb over the hard and smooth facets of the stone, feeling the different, sharp cut sides press into the pad of her thumb.
The metal is cool and hefty in her fingers and her heart thuds in her chest that someone would go through all this trouble for her.
It's a common misconception among the student body that Amity Blight must be beating suitors off with a staff, but the truth is no one had ever pursued her.
Her family was highly influential and well off, everyone assumed she was above them, unattainable; so they didn't try. Not that she’d done much to change that opinion.
Of course, when it finally does happen she's head over heels for someone as unattainable as people think she is…
With gentle fingers she puts the jewelry back in its box and finally turns her attention to the piece of paper, unfolding it.
When I saw this in the market I could only think of you. I hope you like it. This is my final gift as your secret admirer.
Even if you can't return my feelings, would you dance with me tomorrow night?
I'll be wearing a black and purple horned demon mask.
~Your soon-to-be-not-so-secret Admirer
Amity's heart is thumping loudly in her chest, the meaning of the letter is clear. Her secret admirer is going to be at the masquerade tomorrow night.
She clutches the box in her hands and bites her lip.
Maybe… this was her chance to let go of Luz…
Her heart aches at the thought, but her mind knows that it would be the better choice.
Luz is human and while it's rather uncertain right now if she'll ever actually leave the Boiling Isles since the only known portal has been destroyed, Amity's parents would have an aneurysm if they were to ever find out she was in a romantic relationship with a human, the Owl Lady's apprentice no less.
Despite that, if the opportunity presented itself Amity would still leap headfirst into it without any reservations.
She's never known anyone like Luz in all her life. The girl is kindness and sunshine incarnate, something exceedingly rare in a place like the Boiling Isles.
She’s made her a better person in the time they’ve known each other.
Looking back now she finds it hard to believe that she ever hated her.
She looks down at the maroon box in hand and frowns, chest tight. Conflicted emotions run rampant through her mind
For all the things she loves about Luz, of which there are many, she knows that she'll never have the courage to tell her so, and Luz has made it clear in just as many ways that she doesn't see Amity in the same light, and at the end of the day, all her longing and feelings are for not if Luz doesn't return them.
But here, in the palm of her hand, she has a chance at something that might be real and not just a flight of fantasy.
She takes a deep breath and puts the box and note in her bag and heads to class.
She doesn't see Luz at lunch, for which she is grateful but disappointed. She sits with Willow and Gus when they wave her over.
"Hey, Amity, have you seen Luz today? We missed her this morning," the plant witch asks. Amity frowns.
"No, I haven't seen her all day."
"She must not be at school today…" Willow frowns.
That's unusual, Luz loves school. Amity wonders if she's sick, but in the back of her mind, she wonders if Luz is avoiding her.
She looks down at her lunch and is suddenly not very hungry, but she stays and chats with Gus and Willow.
Luz probably should have told her friends that she decided not to go to school today in order to have more time to get ready for Saturday night, but she’s on a deadline, there was no time to go to the school to tell Gus and Willow. She really needed to get a scroll.
She only has one real problem left.
Hiding her ears.
If either of the Clawthorne sisters had magic it would be an easy thing to cast an illusion spell over her ears, but they don't; so it's not.
She's been leafing through Eda's various magic books, searching for a practical solution to her problem.
So far, no luck.
"Ugh!" Luz groans, shelving the books and stalking to her room, grumbling under her breath. "Why couldn't I have been born with a bile sac!?" she laments, dropping face down onto her sleeping bag.
She’s running out of time and unlike the way she handles most things, no plan, full steam ahead and flying by the seat of her pants, she needs to have this figured out before the party or everything was going to be for nothing! Now wasn’t the time to sharpen her improv skills.
She has her clothes and her mask, they were easy. She was pretty pleased with herself on that front.
“Aghhhhh” she yells into the fabric before she ran out of air and was forced to flip over onto her back.
Her time is ticking away and she can’t waste anymore with her frustrations. With a sigh, she hauled herself up and looked around her room, spotting the book about ancient, wild magic Amity had lent her and leaned over to grab it, dragging it into her lap and flipping it open.
She quickly leafs through page after page, hope waning as the minutes turn to hours and the next thing she knows the orange rays of the sunset are leaking through her window.
She sighed and twisted around, trying to relieve the pressure in her back from sitting hunched over the heavy tome for so long.
Maybe she could wear a hat, would it be okay to wear a hat?
She tiredly flips another page and scans it quickly as she reaches for the next but stops.
In front of her are some illustrations of witches, but unlike other images in the book, these ones have what look like glyphs drawn on their skin; tattoos maybe?
Some of the book is written in a language she knows and some of it is not, and this section is, of course, not.
But the longer she studies it the more an idea forms.
She sets the book aside and scrambles to her bag for a pen.
With one in hand she moves back over to the book The studies it again before laying her hand flat against its pages.
Steadily she draws the illusory glyph she'd been experimenting with across the back of her hand. She observes the final product and hesitates.
This could be dangerous.
She doesn’t allow the thought to take up much more than a few seconds of her time as she slaps her other hand over the glyph and willing it to do what she wants.
Her hand is enveloped in a light blue glow and when it fades her hand is tipped with long claws, the glyph still visible on the back of her hand.
She flexes her hand tentatively and slowly a grin begins to split her face.
“It worked… It worked!” She jumps up with an excited whoop. She licks her thumb and rubs at the ink, as soon as the circle is broken the illusion fades with the same soft blue glow as before. She takes her pen and closes the circle back up and casts the spell again, and again, her hand transforms.
Giddy energy is filling her to near bursting as she shoots out of her room and runs into the bathroom.
It's an hour later that King is banging on the bathroom door.
“Other people live here and need the bathroom!” he squeals angrily, stomping his feet.
He almost falls over when the door suddenly swings open just as he’s pounding on it.
“Weh!” He stumbles, but catches himself and looks up, ready to lay his wrath upon whoever is hogging the bathroom but stops short at the sight in front of him.
“Well? What do you think?” Luz asks excitedly, but she doesn’t wait for his answer before bolting down the hall.
“Eda, EDA!” She calls pounding down the stairs and toward the kitchen, where she can hear someone moving around. Lilith looks up from her place on the couch as the girl passes and does a double take.
“What?” Eda grumbles looking up from the large pot of potions she’s stirring. “Where’s the fir-” she trails off when she actually sees Luz.
She looks totally the same.
Except where once her ears were round, they are now pointed like any other witch on the Boiling Isles.
“Wha-?” Eda looks at her wide eyed.
Lilith has followed into the kitchen to get a better look at the girl.
“Fascinating, how did you accomplish this?” She leans in close to get a better look. The illusion is seamless and if she didn’t know better she would have never guessed Luz wasn’t a witch.
“Well, you know that illusion glyph I taught you?” she asks and they nod. “Well, I was looking through this book Amity gave me and it showed wild witches with glyphs drawn on their bodies. So I figured I'd give it a shot!” she grins and reaches up to flick the tips of her now pointed ears.
Eda walks over and turns her around, brushing Luz’s dark hair out of the way, she can see that drawn on the back of both of Luz’s ears are small illusory glyphs. The older witch grins.
“Kid, you’re brilliant.” She ruffled the girl's hair and Luz beamed.
“And think of the scams we could pull with this!” She grins and Lillith rolls her eyes.
Luz just chuckles, not even a little surprised.
“What do you think, Mittens?” Edric asks as they stand in the middle of Blight manor’s main room. What little furniture had been in the room before has been removed to maximize the space of the dance floor, which was already quite large. A few tables are pushed off to the side against the wall; they’ll hold food and drinks later.
The decor is simple but elegant, as though their parents would expect anything else of them.
Luckily, their parents won’t be there tonight. Ed and Em are hosting this party on their own, as family tradition demands, but with some unofficial help from their younger sister. Any tantalizing ideas about turning the party into the kind Ed and Em are more fond of in the absence of Mr. and Mrs. Blight is kept at bay by the thought of the consequences they know await them if this is anything other than the perfect little shindig their parents expect.
“It looks nice, Ed.” Amity nods, looking around. The wooden floors have been polished into a high mirror-like shine; they can see their faces in it. Hopefully, no one slips and falls tonight, it had happened before.
“It can’t just be nice, it has to be perfect,” Emira says with a distinct bitterness that Amity is intimately familiar with, all three of them are.
“It's going to be perfect, we'll make sure of it,” Amity assures them and they look at her gratefully.
The Blight siblings have their differences, to be sure, but all three of them know all too well the jaw-cracking pressures and strains that their parents put on them to be nothing less then perfection and if nothing else try to support each other on that front.
“Have wards been placed on the other rooms?” Emira turns to her brother questioningly as they run down the list of final preparations.
“I placed them there myself,” Amity answers before her brother can open his mouth. It's customary to set wards on the rooms that party guests aren’t supposed to enter, to keep any unsavory behavior, stealing or otherwise to a minimum.
“Until the food arrives I think we’re actually all finished with preparations for now anyway." Edric looks around the room a final time with a keen eye, looking for anything that might be out of place. Emira nods.
“Then I’m going to shower and start getting ready.” Amity turns and starts toward the stairs. Helping the twins get things set up all day had been very helpful in taking her mind off the constant back and forth she’s been having with herself, especially since yesterday morning about her choice between Luz and her secret admirer.
She was still torn about accepting her secret admirer's pursuit or continuing to pine after Luz with no real intention of making her feelings known to someone who it seems has made it clear that they’re just friends.
When she worded it like that it seemed like a simple choice, but the way her chest ached whenever she would think of letting go of the human complicated things. The nagging guilt of turning down her would-be suitor adds another complex layer to things.
She doesn't owe this person anything, she knows, but they've been very sweet, if not a little corny, which Amity admits she kind of likes.
“Hold on, Mittens,” Edric said, turning to face her.
Amity stopped, glancing at the twins over her shoulder from the base of the stairs.
“Thank you, for helping us,” he says with a grateful smile.
“We couldn’t have been able to do it without you…, well, we could have but it would have been such a pain,” Emira chimed in with a grin that still has a sincere feel. Amity can't help but smile even as she rolls her eyes and walks up the stairs to her room with a nod. She already has her outfit set out.
Not the one her mother had laid out for her this morning either. That makes her roll her eyes again.
The second their parents had left Amity had gone straight to her closet and picked out what she actually wanted to wear. In her opinion, it was just as elegant and presentable as the one her mother had picked, but much more her style and it went better with her mask anyway. If her mother finds out so be it, its a chance she’s willing to make for this one night.
Ed and Em will probably be getting ready soon as well, it's only five in the afternoon, but there are still a few things to do, and Emira will take longer than her or Ed to get ready.
The Blood-blossoms are still sitting on her desk, they’ve wilted some but with Willow’s advice, they’re still quite lively. She can’t bring herself to throw them out.
She moves toward her desk and opens the drawer, pulling out the small maroon box and pops it open, gazing at the beautiful little piece of jewelry fondly.
She can see what made her admirer pick it, it's certainly something she would wear and she's touched by the thoughtfulness. She sets it, box open on her desk. It will go perfectly with her dress.
With a final glance at it, she hurries off to the shower before either of her siblings can make their way there. Between the three of them, it's often a fight for the hot water.
Or rather more just a race for her and Edric to get there before Emira, who always takes the longest and uses up most of it.
She's still not sure what she's going to do tonight, but she hopes a hot shower will at least help calm some of her nerves.
~ ~ ~
Luz is a bundle of nerves.
She actually volunteers to run deliveries to town for Eda today if for no other reason then to keep her nervous energies in check, the waiting is killing her. Lugging around bags of heavy, liquid-filled glassware is good for that. Eda gives her a look when she makes the offer, but seems to understand, and agrees. Luz needs something to keep her busy until the party tonight.
Something that isn’t pacing around the owl house like a caged animal or constantly checking the clothes hung up in her room and shooting Hooty dirty looks.
When she leaves for Bonesburrough Eda promises to keep Hooty out of her room.
She walked into her room that morning after breakfast to find the house demon stretched in through her window with her new dress pants hanging out of his mouth.
Luz had tackled him, screaming at the top of her lungs, which had brought the entire house running in time to see Hooty flailing around her room like a wet noodle and screeching while she squeezed her arms and legs around him, yelling in angry, rapid Spanish.
After the excitement of the morning, the day actually flies by fairly quickly for her as she runs back and forth across town dropping off Eda’s deliveries.
She also takes the opportunity to try out her new trick.
Her round ears are gone and no one so much as spares her a glance as she walks through the market.
She's quite pleased with herself.
A few of Eda's regulars tip her a few snails here and there which she happily pockets. Maybe she should get some kind of after school job?
Unlike back home where she's too young, she doubts the Boiling Isles has any kind of child labor laws.
She makes a stop at a small stand selling flowers and plants and buys a single flower. Its petals are white with a dark violet center.
She's admiring its beauty when a voice calls out to her.
"Luz?" She turns around and comes face to face with Willow and Gus.
"Guys!" She jumps on them with a grin.
The two laugh a smile as she squeezed them.
"We weren't entirely sure it was you. What happened to your ears?" Willow is looking at her new pointed appendages with open wonder.
"You like?" She strikes a pose. "It's an illusion spell I've been working on."
"Ohh, impressive." Gus walks around her looking at the illusion.
"I needed to hide my ears tonight," she explains.
"What's tonight?" The younger boy asks and Luz explains the masquerade party and her plan to finally come clean to Amity at the party's end.
"So you're really finally going to do it, huh?" Willow asks her.
Luz nods, face set in a determined look that the plant witch has become familiar with.
"I'm ready. For better or worse, I have to tell her. Even if she turns me down we can still be friends. " saying that hurts more than she expected it to.
"What if she doesn't want to be friends after you tell her?" Gus questions innocently and Luz's fragile bravado fractures like glass.
Willow shoots him a look and he stutters over his words as he tries to backtrack.
"I mean, of course, she will, why wouldn't she!" He hurries to say but the damage has been done and her friends can see it on her face.
"What if she doesn't?" Luz worries her bottom lip between her teeth as she gazes at the flower in her hand. “What if she thinks it’s weird and doesn’t want to talk to me anymore?”
She looks up as Willow takes hold of both her shoulders and stairs her dead in the eye.
"It's going to be fine. You got this," Willow says it was such unwavering confidence that Luz can't help but believe her.
"Right… right!" She nods sharply. "I got this!"
"You can do it!" Gus agrees, throwing up a fist.
"Thanks, guys…" She smiles, and the two wrap themselves around her in a tight hug. "I better get going." They let her go and she steps back.
"Good Luck!" They call as she turns and takes off running back toward the owl house.
She's ready, or as ready as she's ever going to be.
She gets home and runs straight for the shower, giving Eda and Lilith a quick hello
She's going to sweep Amity Blight off her feet!
Luz appraises herself in the mirror one final time as she gets ready to leave. She holds her mask in her hand as she looks at the eyeliner King had carefully applied for her after she’d gotten out of the shower, as well as the glyphs inked carefully behind her ears, giving them a pointed appearance.
For someone with no eyelids, he's really good at it.
She steadies herself on the sink, as she stares back at herself in the mirror.
Was their milk in her lunch? Her stomach is squirming uncontrollably.
Aye dios mio
Shes is so nervous.
She decides talking to her mom might make her feel better. She pulls out her phone and starts the recording.
"Hey Mamì, I'm about to go to a magical masquerade party and confess my feelings to one of my closest friends…well, wish me luck!" When the vlog is saved she pockets her phone.
She takes a deep breath and exits the bathroom and walks down the stairs where everyone is waiting on her.
Eda and Lillith are sitting on the couch talking quietly to each other, King is curled up on a cushion beside them.
She clears her throat softly, drawing everyone’s gaze.
“Well, how do I look?” she asks nervously, holding out her arms and doing a little spin.
A black vest fits snugly, buttoned around her frame over a dark violet dress shirt tucked into the waist of her black dress pants, which stop just below the ankle, too rest on her polished black dance shoes. Her hair is slicked back much like at grom and the flower she had picked up at the market is pinned to the vest on her chest, a bright pop of white against the darks of her clothes.
She feels really fancy actually and she kind of likes it, even if it’s a little strange for her.
Eda lets out a long, low whistle as she stands and walks over to Luz with Lillith trailing behind.
“You look fantastic, Kiddo.” Eda grins, walking circles around her.
“Very dashing.” Lilith agrees, smiling.
"You will conquer your enemies and the heart of that measly girl!" King raises his tiny fists into the air.
Luz puffs her chest out at the praise.
"That illusion on your ears is pretty impressive," Eda hums. "Maybe we could do something like that with the other ones.
Luz is momentarily sidetracked by the idea.
"Do you think if I drew the fire glyph on the palm of my hand I could shoot fireballs?"
"That sounds incredibly dangerous…," Eda says.
Lilith is relieved that her sister is being sensible for once.
"And totally awesome! We'll wait till after the party to try it though."
Lilith slaps a hand against her forehead.
She puts on her mask. It covers her face from her forehead to her cheeks, leaving her eyes and mouth exposed. It's black with bright swirls of purple around the eyes and a pair of upward curved horns on the forehead.
“Wait, how am I going to find Amity if she’s wearing a mask?” Luz suddenly remembers.
“The Blights will be wearing masks, but they aren’t enchanted with the glimmer spell. They’re the hosts and it would be quite problematic if no one could find them.” Lilith soothes her worry.
“That and they’re too proud to hide,” Eda huffed. Lilith doesn’t disagree with the statement.
“Oh, well, I guess I’m ready then.”
"You got this kid, show that girl of yours some of that bad girl coven charm." Eda winks, prompting her sister to roll her eyes even though she's smiling.
"Right!" She smiles and bolts toward the door.
"Hey, hold on!" Eda calls and she slides to a stop looking back at her mentor. "Aren't you forgetting something?" Eda questions.
"Uh, bye?" She tries and Eda chuckles, looking at the girl fondly.
She holds out her hand and a few seconds later her staff flies into the room landing in her outstretched fingers before she tosses it to Luz, who scrambles to catch it before it can clatter to the floor. She looks at the staff in her hands and then back up at Eda.
"Be careful, and try not to make too much racket whenever you come back in." She smiles and Luz's face breaks into a bright grin.
"I won't, I love you!" she calls as she runs out the door.
Owlberts wings pop open and she straddles the staff and takes off toward her destination, wind whipping through her hair as she flies above the treeline.
Eda and Lilith watch her go from the doorway.
"She's got this." Eda crosses her arms and leans in the doorway. Lilith hums in agreement.
The cool air helps calm her nerves some as she directs Owlbert toward her destination.
"You can do this, you're Luz Noceda, you've done way harder stuff than this!" She hypes herself up on the short flight to Blight Manor.
Though, nothing she's ever done before has had such power to potentially break her heart…
She shakes it off and clutches the staff tighter.
She's going to do this!
As she rides through the air she can see the moon in the sky, it's large, full and not surprisingly, blue.
A bright cobalt in fact.
She knows what a blue moon is in her world, it's just a second full moon in one month, but she's not surprised at all that in the Boiling Isles it's actually blue.
Soon Blight manor comes into view, it’s as large as Luz imagined it would be. It reminds her of a Victorian-era house she saw in a history book once. She glides to the ground outside the large black gate that encircles the house.
A pair of stone gargoyles sit outside the gate and suddenly their eyes light up.
“Invitation” an eerie, breathy voice drifts out of the statues and Luz jumps.
“Oh… uh.” she digs the paper out of her pocket and holds it up, then the gate swings open and the statue’s eyes go dark.
“That’s so cool…,” Luz whispers, starry-eyed as she walks up to the house.
She knocks on the door and after a few seconds the door opens up and Emira is standing there in a long golden colored dress. Her hair is out of its normal braid and done in long ringlet curls around her head. Her mask is the same color as her dress and studded with little crystal gemstones.
“Hey, Emira,” Luz greets with a grin.
“Hey, come on in." She stepped out of the way and gestured inside. By the lack of recognition on her face, Luz can tell that Emira has no idea who she is.
She follows the older teen inside.
"You can leave your staff here." She holds a hand out to a rack affixed to the wall that already has a number of staves hanging from it.
Luz carefully hangs it up and follows Emira through the entryway into the main room which is already filled with people in masks chatting and helping themselves to the refreshments.
"Enjoy yourself," Emira says before disappearing into the crowd.
Luz looks around at everything. Everyone is dressed to the nines and there are some very interesting masks among the crowd. She doesn't recognize anyone, but that was the point she supposed.
The lights are low but there are floating sconces with fire to give the room a certain ethereal glow and upbeat music is wafting around the room. She just happens to look up and her mouth falls open. The ceiling is a rounded dome of glass, allowing for a clear view of the night sky and the moon slowly moving overhead, it's blue light shining onto the high polished floor.
Luz has seen a lot of amazing things since coming to the Boiling Isles, but this really does make the top five.
The food looks amazing but she really can't bring herself to eat right now.
Instead, she begins scanning the room, looking for a certain head of mint green hair.
She glances over the dance floor where a few people are already dancing but doesn't see who she's looking for among them. She walks around, taking it all in.
She catches a few people's eyes and they wave or nod. She smiles but doesn't stop to talk, she's on a mission.
After five minutes she finally turns around and freezes.
She'd recognize her anywhere... provided she wasn't wearing an enchanted mask of course.
She’s standing on the other side of the room, looking around, and Luz hopes it's her she's looking for.
She finally really looks at her and her mouth goes dry.
Amity is wearing a dark, magenta-colored dress that stops at mid-shin and the ‘v’ shaped collar dips just below her collar bones. The long sleeves go all the way down to the back of her hands and are affixed to gold rings on her middle fingers to hold them in place. Luz swallows thickly as she takes in the girls’ entire appearance. She’s pretty sure those are the same shoes she wore to grom and there’s a black choker wrapped around the column of her neck. Her mask is black with fang-like points framing her cheeks and little white stars painted on it.
She’s never seen Amity with her hair down before and it does weird things to her insides.
A gleam catches her eye and her gaze is drawn to the brooch pinned to the left side of her chest.
The brooch Luz had given her.
Seeing this sends Luz’s heart too thumping loudly in her chest, but it also emboldens her.
She squares her shoulders and straightens her vest before walking confidently across the room toward her, carefully maneuvering around the other guests but never taking her eyes off Amity.
Amity is facing away from her when she stops just behind her and, resolved, reaches up to tap the other girl’s shoulder.
Amity looks over her shoulder and her curious face turns surprised before she spins around to face her.
“It’s you,” she says, softly, eyes wide behind the mask and Luz’s heart is beating so hard she’s surprised Amity can’t hear it, but her nerves are tempered by a lack of reaction that tells her that Amity really doesn’t recognize her.
“Hi” Luz smiles and dips herself in a half-bow, holding out a hand. She’s seen this in more movies and books then she can count so she figures, why not?
The greeting gesture is familiar to Amity, being from the upper echelons of Boiling isles high society.
She slips her hand into Luz’s and her anonymity emboldens Luz to a level she could never even begin to dream of without it as she leans down farther and skims her lips over the back of Amity’s knuckles, hardly a touch at all but it’s enough for Amity to make a surprise choked noise.
Luz straightens up and scratches the back of her head with her free hand and chuckling sheepishly.
“Sorry, too much?” She asks.
“No! No, it’s fine.” Amity chokes out as her hand is released. "You look very nice." Which is an understatement of unparalleled proportions she thinks.
Her 'date' is about her height, lean and cuts a very nice profile in her fitted suit.
Something is so familiar about her, but the glimmer on her mask keeps Amity from really focusing on what it is. She supposes that she'll know before the evening is through.
"Thank you." She seems to straighten up at the compliment. "You’re beautiful." She smiles and Amity flushes behind her mask. At the many parties her parents had dragged her to over the years she's heard a variety of compliments. Cute, adorable, pretty.
Usually Adults talking to her like she’s a baby.
This is the first time she's been told she's beautiful and it makes her knees weak because she knows the girl standing in front of her means it.
"Thank you." She smiles shyly.
“I’ve never seen you with your hair down… it’s nice.” Luz says and the young witch flushes all the darker and Luz can’t help but grin.
"I thought I'd do something different…" She shrugs and is reminded that this person knows her.
Before they can say anything else, Edric and Emira appear on a nearby raised dais in a puff of blue smoke.
Edric is wearing a gold colored vest and mask that matches his twins' but it's over a black dress shirt tucked into black pants.
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Blight manor." Edric holds up an arm and takes a dramatic bow, making the tails of his vest swish about with the movement.
"Remember not to reveal yourselves to anyone until the party ends when the blue moon is directly overhead." She points up and all the guests look up at the celestial body that is only just peeking past the edge of the glass to be in view.
At least two hours before it's overhead.
"And enjoy yourselves!" the twins echo with a wink before they draw a spell circle and disappear as quickly as they had appeared.
"Those two are a riot…," Luz chuckles once the twins have finished officially starting the party.
“You know Ed and Em?” she asks, trying to think of some way to make conversation but then just wants to slap herself for that. “Oh… well, duh, they invited you, so obviously you must…,” she trails off, embarrassed and Luz can see the pink dusting her cheeks. The mask doesn’t cover much and she smiles.
“Ah, well, I wasn’t exactly on their list of invitees,” she chuckles. “I asked them if I could come.” she shrugs.
"You willingly wanted to come to this? Why?" Amity asks with a laugh.
"Of course!" Luz grins. "I knew you'd be here." She says this like it's the most obvious thing in the world.
Amity feels like tonight is going to be a theme of her being red faced and embarrassed. She thought it was bad when Luz was around.
She stiffens at the thought, but quickly pushes it aside.
“Emira seemed to figure out how I felt about you and I think she took pity on me.” Luz chuckles with a shrug.
Amity’s brows furrow at that, Emira knows how she feels about Luz, why would she encourage some secret admirer? Then again that seems like the kind of teasing thing her sister would do.
Now that the party has officially begun, more people have moved out onto the dance floor and a quick upbeat song is playing.
Her date looks at her smiling, and there's something so achingly familiar about it that tugs at Amity's heart strings.
"May I have this dance?" She holds out a hand, open palm inviting.
She smiles and rests her own in hers.
Amity allows herself to be led out onto the dance floor and takes hold of one of her date’s hands, the other on her shoulder while their other arms rests on her hip.
If she’s honest, Amity doesn’t expect much. She’s been forced to dance with the children of other wealthy families at these kinds of things before, and while their technical dancing is always superb, it always feels so stiff and wrong.
She never had, nor ever would have chemistry with them, like she never had with anyone at dancing, except Luz. Again she feels guilty at the thought, right until they start to move.
Luz smiles as she leads them across the dance floor in quick, smooth steps. She could dance pretty well if she said so herself, but she might have also been fitting in some formal practice with Lillith the last two days. Unlike Eda, Lillith is an exacting taskmaster of a teacher, but she won’t deny she learned a lot and moderately well in such a short period of time.
Amity is looking at her with quiet wonder as they gracefully spin across the floor and Luz grins at her. They don’t need to say much of anything, they seem to be in perfect sync and Amity wouldn’t know what to say even if she did.
The tempo picks up and they follow suit, feet barely touching the floor as they glide around the room.
Luz is deliriously happy at the way they fit together and just the chance to touch Amity without her freaking out or tossing food halfway across a room.
She loosens her grip on Amity’s waist and she takes the hint, letting go of her shoulder as she spins her away, the skirt of her dress billowing up around her knees before she’s tugged back into her partner’s arms with a flourish that makes her grin.
Their steps are effortless and she feels lighter than she has in a long time.
She’s not even vaguely aware that people have started watching them or some other couples have moved out of their way. Right now, they have eyes only for each other.
“Who is that with, Mittens?” Edric asks his twin as they watch the two girls twirl effortlessly around the dance floor.
“Dunno… but I have a pretty good idea.” She smiles but says nothing else and Edric hums at his sisters’ unusual quiet on the matter. if Emira isn't telling she must have a good reason.
The song is nearing its end, building to a crescendo when the unthinkable happens.
The high polished floor has chosen this moment to make itself known.
Amity knows what happens the exact moment it does.
The heel of her shoe begins to slip forward out from under her and she braces herself for the impact as she falls backward.
It never comes.
Luz sees it happening too and acts with lightning reflexes gained from years of being a klutz.
Just as Amity begins to fall backward she wraps her arm around her waist and twists them around, redirecting the momentum and straightens out their connected hands, bringing her to a sudden stop just as the song finishes and to the rest of the party, it appears they have just performed the most amazing dip in the history of dancing.
Amity blinks up at her with wide eyes, their noses almost touching as she’s held aloft and Luz grins and winks before pulling her back to stand.
Several people clap and whistle at the performance and Luz smiles nervously, giving a little bow before they scurry off the dance floor.
“Are you okay?” she asks Amity quietly.
“F-fine, I’m fine…,” she says, but her heart is pounding in her chest.
“Can I get you something to drink?” Luz asks head cocked.
“Oh, yes, thank you.” she smiles and Luz grins before trotting off to the refreshment table.
Amity takes the moment alone to try and bring her heartbeat back under control, hand pressed to her chest.
Her fingers brush the brooch, pinned her dress and her heart flutters.
Stars, she's got to get herself under control.
"Here ya go!"
She jerks when her date has returned and is holding a glass of punch.
"Thanks…" she takes it and their fingers brush.
"Do you like it?" she suddenly asks and Amity is confused for a second before she realizes that she means the brooch, she must have seen her playing with it.
"It's beautiful, you really shouldn't have." She reaches up, fingers brushing the gemstone.
Luz shrugs, smiling.
"When I saw it I thought of you," she explains like it's the most obvious answer in the world, her brown eyes shine in the light of the fire from a nearby sconce and they take on a molten glow.
Amity swallows thickly.
"Thank you, for all of it. The flowers and the tart… it really made my day." She smiles.
"I saw you eating it at lunch," she admits. "I'm glad it made you happy." She smiles shyly as she shuffles back and forth from foot to foot and suddenly Amity is reminded of another brown-eyed girl who can't stay still and instantly feels bad for thinking of Luz, especially when she's having such a good time here with this sweet girl in front of her that she knows likes her.
"Can I ask you something?"
"How did you know about the tarts?" she asks. She's been wondering for days now.
"Oh…," she hums, trying to decide if she should say. She doesn't think there's any harm in it. "Emira mentioned it one day, while we were talking."
That answered one question but gave rise to several more.
"Are you an illusion track student?"
"Nope" she pops the 'p' with a playful grin.
"Do we have classes together?"
"Maybe," she drawls, eyes twinkling. Amity finds herself smiling back. So that's how it was going to be.
"What track are you in?" she asks instead.
"Impatient aren't we, Miss. Blight?" She sidesteps the question with a coy smile and again familiarity is tugging at the back of Amity's mind.
Normally she'd be annoyed at the avoidance of her questions but she’s intrigued.
"You're not going to tell me anything are you?" She rests her free hand on her cocked hip and her date only continues to smile.
Luz is having too much fun with this.
"Depends on the question, It is a masquerade, ya know?" she teases.
Amity hums thoughtfully to herself as she tries to think of a question that couldn't identify her date but will give her some information.
Before she can think of something the current song playing comes to an end and in a puff of smoke her siblings have appeared again on the dais.
"If we might have everyone's attention for a moment," Edric begins.
"We're going to play a little game," Emira finishes.
"What's going on?" Luz asks and Amity shakes her head. Whatever her siblings are up to, she has not been informed of.
Looks like they had decided to take a chance on their parents finding out and have gone off-script. She's not at all surprised.
Her siblings just can't contain themselves at times. It's why they're always in trouble… she definitely doesn't like the impish grin on the twins' faces, she knows it all too well.
She grabs her date’s hand and she looks at her questioningly.
"We should go…" she tugs her away from the dance floor and toward another set of doors.
"What, why?" Luz blinks but allows herself to be drug through the doors out onto a large porch with a short stone wall enclosing it that overlooks Blight manors, large and immaculate backyard, which is bathed in bright blue moonlight.
"Trust me, whatever they've planned is not going to go well." She rolls her eyes. As if to punctuate her words there is suddenly a loud commotion from inside.
"You're probably right…," Luz mutters, looking back in the direction of the party over her shoulder.
Amity leads them over to a large patio set and seats herself in one of the chairs.
Luz opts for hopping on top of the stone wall to face her and Amity smiles.
"You're really not going to tell me anything about yourself are you?" She asks once they're settled.
"I'll tell you anything you want that doesn't tell you who I am," is her reply.
"Oh, how bout we play twenty questions?" she asks excitedly.
"It's a game, we just take turns asking each other questions," She says.
"Okay,...um…" Luz taps her chin thoughtfully, wracking her brain. "Favorite color?" She settles on.
"Pink, but I feel like you might have known that," Amity answers, giving her date a sly look.
"I might have had a guess." She shrugs. "Your turn."
Amity hums thoughtfully. Talking of siblings...
“Do you have any siblings?” she finally chooses.
“Naw, only child.”
“I can’t even imagine what that’s like…,” Amity huffs with a rueful smile, glancing across the lawn as the sounds of chaos inside rages on.
“Kind of quiet, boring.”
Amity blinks, gaze going back to her companion.
“What about your parents?”
“It’s just me and my mom, and she tries, but she works all the time, so usually I’m on my own.” Luz shrugs, frowning. She hasn’t ever really talked to anyone about this before. Especially not her mom, it would only make her feel bad.
Amity hadn't ever really thought much about what her life would be like if she were an only child, having to carry all the weight of her parents' expectations. It probably would be kind of lonely too.
"My parents are usually gone too… but it's probably for the better," she mumbles the last part, never having intended to give it voice.
Luz wants to ask but she remembers what Willow said about Mr and Mrs Blight not being the most affectionate, so it might be a sore spot for her crush. She chooses to ignore it, for now.
"You asked two questions so now I get to ask two," she says instead.
"I guess that's fair…" Amity nods.
"Why did you choose the abominations track?"
"My parents" Amity shrugged. "Abomination magic is one of the hardest to learn, so it's the most prestigious…," she trails off.
Luz screws up her mouth, sensing a theme and decides she wants to stay clear of any topics that might involve the Blight parents.
"How come you dye your hair?" as soon as the question leaves her mouth she knows it's the wrong thing to ask.
Amity is making a face, lips pursed.
She's quiet for a long few minutes and Luz is sure her question is going to go unanswered until Amity finally speaks.
"My mom makes me."
Luz can't win for losing it seems…
They're alone on the porch, and for reasons she can't explain she feels safe enough to talk about this with the girl sitting in front of her.
"She likes me and the twins to match, so I have to dye it green." she's pointedly not looking at Luz, who bites her tongue;hard.
She wants to say so many things, like how wrong that is, and if Amity doesn't want to color her hair she shouldn't have to, but she doesn't, because she realizes, for once, this is a situation out of her depth. As with her own mom forcing her to go to a boring summer camp to try and make her a little more normal.
Living with Eda the last almost two months had given her more autonomy than she's ever known before, but Eda isn't her mom, and while she takes care of her, she's more like a wacky aunt, who lets her do things her mother would probably have a stroke over. So sometimes she forgets that they’re kids, and subject to the whims of their parents.
Luz tries to overlook it by knowing that her mom just wants what's best for her, even if she doesn't like it, but it doesn't feel that way with Amity and Mrs. Blight, but Luz knows enough to know that she doesn't know enough to say anything about it; so she doesn't.
Instead she says: "I bet your brown hair is really pretty."
Which seems to be the right thing to say if the way Amity is now looking at her is any indication.
She smiles and reaches up to brush some free strands of hair away from her face. The pink of her cheeks not entirely hidden by her mask.
Amity shared something that Luz thinks is probably personal, so it only seems right to share something back.
"My mom made me go to this boring summer camp to try and make me more normal," she says.
"Normal?" Amity's eyes narrow behind her mask.
"Yeah, at my old school everyone thought I was weird, so I didn't have any friends and kept getting in trouble for being… a lot." She shrugs.
“I just didn’t like the things other kids liked, or I guess actually the stuff I like is weird to them. I made a model of a griffin and everyone freaked out about the spider breath…”
“But they do have spider breath, that's anatomically correct…”
“I know, right?” Luz threw up her hands. “Then I auditioned for the school play…” She tells the story and Amity is trying to contain her laughter behind a hand.
“It was just some sausages!” She stuck out her tongue. “But apparently my death scene was ‘disruptive and overly dramatic’.” she finger quotes with an annoyed look.
“That’s rather tame for a play at Hexside, last year the play lead was eaten by a griffin.”
“They got him back… eventually.” She makes a face.
“So what you’re saying is don’t audition for any of the school plays?” Luz laughed.
“Not unless being eaten by a griffin sounds appealing to you.” She smirked.
“Noted” Luz holds up a finger.
They sit in comfortable silence for a few minutes.
“You must have been lonely…” Amity breaks the quiet and Luz looks at her questioningly. “Not having any friends or siblings and your mom is always gone…,” she says peering sadly at the girl across from her.
Luz looks down at her feet as she kicks them back and forth, probably scuffing the backs of her brightly polished shoes as they hit the stone wall she’s sitting on.
“Yeah…,” she says quietly, glancing back up to see those bright gold eyes looking at her and she taps her fingers on the cold hard stone beneath them nervously. “It was pretty lonely,” she admits.
“Are you still lonely?” Amity asks.
Slowly Luz shakes her head.
“Not anymore.” she smiles, and it’s more subdued than any of the other bright smiles or grins Amity has seen this evening but it has an undeniable sincerity to it that makes her smile back.
“We should probably head back inside…,” she finally says after a while and when she’s noticed that the commotion inside has been replaced with quiet music.
“Ah, right!” She vaults off the wall and lands with a quiet thump before offering Amity her arm. “Shall we?” she smiled in what she hoped was charming. She’s not sure if she pulled it off or not by the way Amity huffs a laugh at her, but she slips her arm through hers regardless.
“Lead the way.” she teases and Luz grins and even in the dark, it’s blinding.
When they walk back inside they’re not sure what has happened exactly. Most the party goers have returned to the dance floor or the refreshment area, but quite a few have huddled along the walls, hiding or wailing in despair.
“What happened?” Luz blinks, looking around.
“I don’t even want to know.” Amity shakes her head as they walk around the room, maneuvering between other guests before coming face to face with Edric and Emira.
"Hey, Mittens, we didn't see you during the game." Edric crossed his arms and pouted at her.
"Yeah, it was a lot of fun," Emira says.
Looking around at the sorry state of some of the guests, Amity can't help but disagree without even knowing what went on here.
"We were on the back porch." Amity chooses to answer her brother's unasked question.
"Who's your friend?" He asks, grinning at her companion.
Amity almost snorts at the question.
"I've been wondering that myself all evening." She smirks and Luz grins back at her.
"Oh, your secret admirer…" Emira grins, leaning forward.
"Her what?" Edric's brows canter upward over the top of his mask at that.
"Well, you'll know before too long now." Emira points up at the glass ceiling overhead. The moon is almost in position directly overhead, it's bright light is filling the room.
"We better go mingle before then." Edric jerks his head and Emira nods.
"Have fun you two!" Emira wiggles her fingers at the two as they pass by. "And Good luck." The older Blight girl is looking directly at Luz as she says this.
Perhaps the older teen hadn't recognized her when she came in but Luz knew without a doubt that she now knew who she was.
Amity looked between the two with narrowed eyes.
She was missing something and she knew it all hinged on the identity of the girl beside her. It was like she had all the edge pieces of a puzzle fit together but no picture to reference. She had the frame, but she couldn't see the big picture.
It was aggravating, in a word.
The older Blight children disappear into the crowd, leaving them alone and a slow song begins to play.
"Well, if it's all going to be over soon we might as well enjoy it." Luz holds out a hand. "I won't let you fall this time either." She's smiling playfully and Amity can't help but roll her eyes even as she slides her hand into hers.
"I'll hold you to that."
Luz tugs them out onto the floor, but this time she sets both her hands on Amity's waist as she brings hers to rest on her shoulder.
They move much slower this time, but still in rhythm to the soft, lilting music that fills the room.
They're both a little nervous now.
The two times they'd danced before were fast and there wasn't a lot of time to over analyze every little thing, especially fighting a fear demon, now there is, and Luz agonizes over whether or not her hands are in the right place, should she be closer, farther away?
Lilith had offered to give her lessons on slower dances but it had just felt too weird to her. Now she wished she'd just sucked it up and agreed.
Amity is calmer after the first minute of swaying. The hands on her waist are firm but not tight and she takes a certain comfort in it, their weight grounds her, especially as the song plays on, and slowly, but surely they relax. Luz's hands slide to wrap around the small of Amity's back as her arms wrap around her mysterious date's neck, eventually her head is resting on her shoulder and Amity feels at ease, shuffling across the floor, less of a dance and more a slow moving embrace.
Luz, for her part, leans her head gently against Amity’s, resting weightless on her shoulder. The bright moonlight is filling the room but there's not a sliver of it shining between the two of them.
That song ends but neither seem to notice and dance on through the next two songs as well.
Luz doesn’t know what perfume Amity wears, but it’s light, sweet and fills her senses to the point it might be making her dizzy, but she doesn’t let go; she never would if she could. Amity is hot to the touch and Luz leans into the warmth, trying to absorb as much of it as possible; like a moth to a flame. She wants nothing more than to hold her like this forever if only she would allow it.
Amity’s eyes closed some time ago. Her partner's hold is firm but gentle, almost lulling her to sleep in her secure embrace. She is soft, warm and her nose is practically buried in her partner's neck. We're she more coherent she'd be mortified at the intimate proximity, she's never been this close to anyone before, but everything save quiet, warm fuzziness has become background noise in her mind.
She inhales deeply and breathes a whisper of a sigh against her neck. She smells pleasantly earthy, like grass and a warm summer breeze. The saccharine thought makes her feel silly, but she doesn't try to push it away She hums in contentment; she smells just like Luz.
Amity’s eyes pop open at the thought, her insides turn cold and her stomach drops to her feet as guilt claws at her, washing away all the warmth as though it had never been; replaced by cold dread.
The song ends and Luz reluctantly removes herself from Amity’s arms, she's so wrapped up in the warmth and overwhelming affection she feels that she doesn't notice how stiff the other girl has gone as they move off the dance floor.
The music has stopped and the twins have returned in a flash of light and smoke to the center of the room.
“Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, the moon is directly overhead and that means it’s time to remove your masks and reveal yourselves!” Edric throws up his hands as several party guests remove their glimmered masks and begin chatting excitedly as they recognize each other.
“Thank you to everyone in attendance tonight.” Emira finished and the two bowed to the guests, though this time they elect to simply walk toward the front door. Luz can only assume to see the guests off as they exit. For now there is still excited chatter all around them.
It's now or never, Luz decides as they stand on the side of the dance floor as people remove their masks and reveal themselves to each other under the bright light of the blue moon.
She clears her throat and Amity turns to look at her, brought out of her internal crisis.
"So, do you think… we could see each other again?" she asks hopefully.
Amity blinks at the question, mind racing, this was what she'd been waiting for all night and now it's here and she's not prepared in the slightest, because now she knows what her decision is and she hates it; absolutely hates it.
It's painful, what she's about to say, especially as she stares into this girl's brilliant and hopeful, brown eyes, but everything about the girl in front of her has reminded her of Luz at every turn tonight, and as badly as she wants to let go, it seems she can't; and that's not fair to her. This wonderful girl in front of her deserves someone who will think only of her; and as much as she'd like it to be, it's not Amity.
"I can't," she finally says at long last, watching helplessly as the girl's face falls. "I am so sorry…," she rushes to say. "You've been so sweet and kind, but…" She bites her lip and can't break her gaze from those eyes looking back at her through the mask, waiting.
"There's someone else…," the girl finishes for her and it's so sorrowful and knowing that it breaks Amity's heart; she feels awful and all she can do is nod.
Luz tries her damnedest to hide that her heart is breaking as she speaks.
"It's okay…," she says, voice thick like she's on the verge of tears, and if it's possible, Amity's heart fractures a little more. Even now she's being so understanding it makes her want to take back her words, but she holds fast; she has too.
"I'm sorry," is all she can say and tries to convey in those two simple words how much she means it; how much she hates having to do this.
Luz, for her part, shrugs helplessly.
"I knew there was someone else…," she starts and Amity looks at her surprised. "I thought it was worth a shot though…" Her eyes are glassy and she's doing her best to keep the tears at bay, even though she can't will away the trembling in her voice.
She can already see that Amity feels awful, she's not going to make it worse by crying. She’s going to try anyway.
The night is coming to a close and a few people have begun to trickle out and Luz knows that the time to unmask herself has finally come, but her heart has already been broken, so the anxiety she expected for this moment never comes, she feels numb as she reaches up for it but hesitates.
“If… if you don’t want to take your mask off, you don’t have to, it’s okay…,” Amity says after a long moment as Luz fiddles with the edges.
Amity is giving her an out.
A chance to let her walk away without ever actually telling her who she is in order to preserve her dignity and carry on with whatever their relationship was before.
She considers it for a long moment.
Luz doesn’t hesitate for long, she’s never had much use for dignity, and if this ships going to sink she may as well go down with it knowing she did everything she could to save it.
“That’s not really fair to either of us though is it?” she finally asks, smiling sadly at her, and Amity, for being the one who turned her down, looks just as upset as she feels, and of course she does, because Amity is kind like that. A little rough at the edges at first but so unbelievably kind that it makes her chest ache. “Was still a nice night though, right?” she asks quietly, looking at her with a smile that takes all her effort to form.
“Very…,” Amity breathes sadly, heart twisting and ‘i’m sorry’ once more on the tip of her tongue, but before she can utter the words her companion is pulling off her mask and the illusion is broken like it had never existed.
“It was kinda stuffy under there anyway…” Luz scratches her cheek with a finger, doing her best not to look directly at Amity's face as she reaches back to rub away the glyphs on the back of her ears, casting away the illusion concealing her ears while she waits for the witch so say something; anything.
Amity is staring wide-eyed at the girl in front of her, mouth hanging open. Her brain has become static as the human girl stands in front of her, looking down at her feet, head haloed in soft blue light.
Luz is her secret admirer…
LUZ IS HER SECRET ADMIRER!?
She thinks maybe her heart has stopped, or it’s beating so fast she can no longer distinguish between beats.
"Luz…," she finally managed to utter from a numb mouth and those brown eyes she thinks about so often are trained on her once more.
"Hi" she smiles and it's so unbelievably sorrowful, tears welling up in the corners of her eyes.
Amity sees them and jerks before her own can start against her will. It's all too much at once.
Suddenly Amity grabs her hand and is pulling her away from the party toward the stairs. Luz yelps but lets herself be dragged along up them and down a dark hallway before Amity pulls them into a room that Luz immediately realizes must be her bedroom; it's very Amity. She shuts the door behind them with an echoing slam.
Luz stands awkwardly in the middle of the room, her mask clenched in her hand as she watches Amity’s back, where she has yet to turn away from the now-closed door, hands still pressed against the wood as though the door is the only thing keeping her standing.
The oppressive silence is making her skin itch and she bites her lip, eyes sting with unshed tears.
She’s never been much for silence and this one is deafening.
“L-look, I’m sorry, Amity, I… I shouldn’t have come and I shouldn’t have said anything, I…,” She croaks, a tear sliding down her cheek as she tries desperately to save whatever might be left of their friendship.
Listening to Luz's choked words is all too much for Amity, a torrent of emotions has welled up inside her chest and behind her eyes, looking for release.
Anything else Luz wanted to say is cut off by a strained sob from the girl in front of her.
Suddenly Amity whips round, making the skirt of her dress flutter and she’s staring back at Luz, gold eyes shining brightly as tears drip down her face from beneath her starry mask and another sob erupts from her throat against her will.
Luz can’t stop herself, she rushes forward and once she's standing in front of the crying girl she hesitates, hands hovering in the air a moment before reaching up to lift up Amity’s mask and once it's out of the way she takes hold of her ruddy cheeks and gently brushes away the tears with her thumbs.
“I’m sorry, Amity,” she mumbles, frowning.
Amity’s hands shoot up to cover her hands with her own smaller ones and shakes her head harshly.
“No,” she chokes. “Don’t be sorry, I'm happy!”
Luz can't help but think that what's going on and what she says are very mixed messages.
But any words that might have wanted to come out of her mouth die in her throat as Amity speaks.
“Did… did you mean it?” she asks in a small quivering voice that sounds so wrong coming from someone so strong. She must show her confusion because Amity speaks again before she can get her mind around the question. “The gifts… the notes…tonight... did you mean all of those things?” she chokes out desperately, tears still running down her cheeks and it makes Luz’s heart twist in such a painful way that she can’t begin to describe it.
A surge of bravery fills Luz’s chest and she pulls her hands out from beneath Amity's to take hold of the other girls and holds them firmly to her chest; Amity’s breath hitches.
“Of course I meant them, you’re so amazing, Amity!” Pink dusts her cheeks but she plows on. “I like you, a lot.” She squeezes her hands. “I just didn’t want to freak you out… I wanted you to like me too… even though I knew there was someone else…,” she trails off, gaze falling to the floor, and dropping Amity’s hands; both of them miss the warmth.
“What?” Now it’s Amity’s turn to be confused.
“Whoever you wanted to invite to grom…,” Luz finally says after a long moment, eyes moving back up to look at Amity’s surprised face. “I know it was selfish, but I couldn’t stand the idea of you being with someone else… I wanted to win you over,” she trails off quietly.
Suddenly Amity’s hands are cupped around her cheeks, forcing her to look at her and brushing away the errant tears that have dripped down Luz's face.
“Luz…” Amity says, voice thick with emotion, a few stray tears are still dripping down her own face but she’s smiling. “It was you, Luz, it's always been you. I wanted to ask you to grom,” she says it at long last and a weight lifts off the witch’s chest she hadn’t even been aware of.
“You… me… you were afraid of being rejected by me?” She fumbles through the sentence with wide eyes and disbelief coloring every word.
Amity only nods and giggles wetly at the girl's wide eyes and slack jaw.
Suddenly Luz has crystal clarity on all of her interactions with Amity. The jumpiness, stammering and blushing…
“I’m so stupid!” Luz squawked suddenly, digging her fingers into her slicked back hair.
Amity chuckled under her breath, feeling brave now too.
“You’re not stupid…,” she says as she reaches up and shoos Luz's hands away before carefully smoothing the dark strands back into place with a gentle hand. The look she’s giving Luz is one of unabashed adoration and Luz feels warm and tingly as Amity runs her fingers through her hair.
“I never picked up on your feelings either…,” Amity reminds, her hands falling away from her hair to rest on her shoulders.
“I was trying to keep mine hidden though… you were so obvious! After all the fanfiction I’ve read, I'm really disappointed in myself for not noticing…," she groans as Amity turns red again.
“I wasn’t that obvious…,” Amity huffs, indignation rising to the surface. Luz wraps her arms around the witch’s waist and pulls her closer. Amity squeaks and blinks at her as Luz’s grin becomes downright smug.
“Oh yeah?” she asks. “Cute uniforms, sweating?” she quotes Amity from weeks ago and Amity’s face turns blood red at the words.
“Shut up!” She puts a hand on Luz’s chest and tries to push her away, face practically steaming with embarrassment.
Luz just laughs, to giddy to contain herself. She likes Amity and Amity likes her! It's the only thought in her head.
Suddenly Amity finds herself lifted off the ground and spinning around the room in Luz’s arms.
“Luz!” They’re both laughing uncontrollably as Luz twirls them around her bedroom.
They finally stop in the middle of the room, both out of breath and smiling so hard their cheeks hurt. Finally Luz lets her feet touch back to the floor but doesn’t release her grip.
They stood there, breathing heavy as the bright blue light of the full moon outside streamed into the window, casting both their faces in its light.
The smile on Amity's lips is so soft and joyful it makes Luz's heart swell.
Suddenly Luz's mouth goes dry as she's struck by a sudden thought.
Maybe it's the high of finding out that Amity returns her feelings, the remains of the bravery her mask had given her or just how breathtaking the girl in her arms is, highlighted by soft blue moonlight shining in her gold eyes.
“Can I kiss you?” she asks before she can rethink it.
Amity’s eyes grow wide as she stares back into deep brown eyes that look alive in the moonlight reflecting off them.
Amity is quiet just long enough that Luz is just about to apologize and her grip on Amity’s waist loosens, bringing the witch back into the present and she panics that Luz is going to let her go, that's the last thing she wants. She tightens her grip on Luz’s shoulders, fingers digging into her vest.
“Please…,” she says and flushes crimson. A simple yes turned into a desperate plea as it came out of her mouth, but Luz doesn’t seem at all fazed as her grip tightens around her waist and she leans in close.
She’s so close all Amity can see is her as their noses brush. She lets her eyes flutter closed as Luz’s lips press against hers.
It’s soft, and much too short.
Luz pulls back all too quick for her and their eyes open, looking at each other silently for several seconds before Amity moves to wrap her arms around the human girl's neck, her fingers threading through the hair there and Luz meets her halfway as she leaned in to kiss her again, this time it's longer but no less gentle, neither are the ones that follow.
Neither is sure how long they stand there, exchanging soft kisses, but it’s brought to an abrupt end when the bedroom door swings open.
“Hey, Mittens, everyone left, how was the part-” Edric’s question dies in his mouth as he and Emira stand open mouthed in the doorway as the two younger teens pull apart and stare at them, red faced.
“Well… this is unexpected…” Emira recovers first and crosses her arm, leaning on the doorframe. “Actually it isn’t…” She smirks.
“Wha-?” Edric is still blinking at them with wide eyes.
“Oh, is it that late already?” Luz laughs nervously and finally lets go of Amity and takes a step back. “I better get going!"
She hurries toward the door and is careful not to look at either of the twins as she speed walks out of the room between them.
“Why do neither of you know how to knock!?” Amity hisses, face bright crimson, and it's hard to say if it’s more anger or embarrassment as she rushes past them and down the stairs.
She catches Luz at the front door, staff in hand as she steps outside.
“Wait, Luz.” Amity calls, and she does. She feels like she couldn’t deny Amity anything right now. Her lips are still tingling.
“I… I’m sorry, about them,” she apologizes, hands fisted into her dress. Did her siblings just ruin this for her?
Luz just smiles.
“It’s okay, I really do need to go… but um…” she trails off and Amity looks up at her, eyebrows raised in silent question.
“If you’re not busy tomorrow maybe we could… I dunno, hang out in town, maybe go to that bakery you like… like, a date?” she scratches the back of her head and shifts from foot to foot, waiting for Amity’s answer.
Amity smiles and brushes some hair behind her ear.
“I’d like that.” She nods and Luz lights up with a bright grin that Amity finds herself returning.
“Great! I'll meet you there at lunch time?"
"Cool… cool …,well… I better get going…” She takes a half step forward and pecks the witch’s cheek before stepping back with a bright grin at Amity's surprised and pink face.
Her eyes flicker to something over Amity’s shoulder and she flushes before turning and with a flick of her wrist Owlbert’s wings are spread. She took a running leap off the porch onto the staff and is quickly flying over the lawn.
“Bye Amity!” she calls as she flies over the wrought iron gate.
Amity waves, feeling the wide smile pulling at her face as she watches Luz disappear into the dark of the night.
“She’s got style, I’ll give her that.”
Amity jumps at her brother's voice and spins around to find the twins standing in the doorway looking smug.
“Your girlfriend is something else, Amity.” Emira laughs.
Amity freezes at the word ‘girlfriend’. They hadn’t discussed anything of the sort...but… she slowly smiles to herself as she thinks about everything that had happened tonight and about the date she had tomorrow.
“Yeah, she is,” she agrees and the twins grin.
“How’d she make her ears pointed?” Edric wonders.
Amity doesn't seem to be listening now, lost in a world of her own and the twins share a knowing look.
"Good job, sis." He gives her a nudge, bringing her back to the present.
"Yeah, she's a catch," Emira agrees and Amity turns to her sister. She's finally put all the pieces together. Emira knew and had been pushing them together all this time.
She suddenly flings herself into her arms.
Emira blinks, surprised.
"I know what you did." Amity's voice is muffled against her sister's dress. "Thank you."
Smiling the older Blight girl wraps her arms around her little sister and squeezes.
Edric just blinks at them, confused.
~ ~ ~
Luz is so giddy as she flies through the air it finally bursts out of her in a loud whoop and did barrel rolls on the staff with glee.
“She likes me!” Luz screams out into the cool night air.
She grins all the way home, and her cheeks hurt, but she just can't stop smiling.
When she lands in front of the owl house. Hooty is asleep and she pushes the door open quietly and shuts it silently once she steps inside.
“How’d it go?”
Luz jumps six feet in the air at the voice.
She turns to see Eda and Lillith sitting on the couch with two cups of tea.
The smile that blooms on her apprentice’s face tells Eda all she needs to know.
“Come tell us about it.” She pats the empty space between them.
Luz lays Owlbert against the wall and plops down between the sisters.
Now that she is closer, the sisters can see her better and Eda erupts into loud, uncontrollable laughter that makes tears gather in her eyes.
“W-what?” Luz blinks at her and Lillith seems to see what Eda thinks is so funny and covers her mouth with a hand to stifle her laughter.
“Maybe don’t tell us everything!” Eda manages to get out between choked laughter.
Lilith manages to get herself under control much quicker.
“You… have a little something…” she points to her own mouth and Luz jumps up and runs to the standing mirror on the other side of the room to look at herself and her cheeks turn crimson.
Light pink lipstick is smeared across her mouth.
Eda continues to howl.
One more chapter
Luz had a hard time looking at either of the Clawthorne sisters as they sat Sunday morning eating breakfast.
Anytime she caught the older witch’s eye she would grin and snicker, causing Luz to flush.
King seemed to catch on pretty quickly.
“What’s so funny?” He looked between the two. “Tell me!” he demanded, pointing a clawed hand at the witch.
“Nothing!” Luz squawked, before Eda could say anything. “Nothing is funny!” Her voice climbed an octave which made Eda snort into her cup of apple blood, but decided to take pity on her lovestruck apprentice; for now.
“Yeah, yeah, nothing,” Eda said but still couldn't wipe away her grin. King grunted in disappointment.
“Leave her be, Edalyn.” Lilith said, but there was a small smirk on her own face, that if anything, was worse then Eda’s full-blown laughter.
It was one of the longest breakfasts of Luz’s life.
Embarrassed as she was she was still riding the high from the previous evening. It had taken her a long time to fall asleep with all the happy, excited energy coursing through her.
She’d laid in bed drawing light glyphs for a while and simply basking in their light as she replayed the entire evening in her head over and over.
Skimming over some of the emotional whiplash from initially being turned down and focussing on every smile or laugh she’d been able to get out of Amity, their dances especially took up a lot of her thoughts. She could still feel the other girl’s head resting on her shoulder and her fingers wrapped around her neck. Her skin tingled with the ghost touch she swore she could still feel.
One moment more than any other always came back to the front of her mind.
Standing in Amity’s bedroom, close enough they could feel each other's breaths, hands gently smoothing her mussed hair and the way the young witch's eyes glowed in the cobalt moon light before Amity’s finger threaded through her hair as she kissed her.
Her face grew warm thinking about it and she squirmed happily under the covers.
She let her face drop into her pillow and sighed dreamily.
She thought she had been a mess before, this was something else entirely. Something overwhelming and awe-inducing; something wonderful.
'Is this what love feels like?' she wondered as her eyes drooped closed.
Eventually, she fell asleep with dreams of warm golden eyes and a smile she always wanted to be the cause of.
She’d promised Gus and Willow she would meet them right after breakfast today to tell them how it all went; she needed to get going.
When breakfast mercifully ended she stood and headed for the door.
“I’m going to meet Gus and Willow, bye guys,” she called back toward the kitchen.
“Hold up, kid,” Eda called before stepping into the living room, catching Luz as she reached for the door.
Luz stopped to look at her mentor, who wore a serious expression.
“When you get back I think we need to have a talk.”
“A talk?” Luz blinked, brows furrowed. “About what?”
“You know…” Eda twirled a hand as if searching for the right words. “The Talk.” she finally said
“The…” Luz started before realization struck her and her face turned crimson. “Oh my gosh! No!”
“It’s an important talk every young witch needs to have.”
“Eda, No! My mom is a nurse, I’ve had the talk!” she wailed, red faced.
And she had. The most awkward conversation she had ever had with her mother, or anyone really, after telling her she was bi, complete with charts and diagrams from her work that made her grimace just thinking about it.
“Well you have a girlfriend now, you need a refresher.” Eda crossed her arms.
“I’m leaving!” Luz didn’t look back as she ran out of the house, the door slamming open and cutting off Hooty’s call of good morning.
Eda snickered to herself as her apprentice vanished into the woods.
“You’re terrible,” Lilith huffed, from the kitchen table, but couldn’t stop the small grin playing on her lips.
“If I’m going to have a kid and all the responsibilities that go with it I should at least get the fun parts too.” she shrugged.
Lilith only rolled her eyes.
~ ~ ~
Gus and Willow were waiting for her at the fountain in town when she arrived.
“Luz!” They called when they saw her.
“Hey, guys.” She grinned.
“Well, tell us everything, how did it go?” Willow leaned in, practically vibrating with anticipation.
“Did you tell her, what did she say?” Gus followed bouncing in place.
“Okay, okay, I’ll tell you.” she chuckled, unable to wipe the grin off her face.
They sat on the edge of the fountain while she recounted the entire party to them, though she did leave out a few things here and there. They didn’t need to know about what she and Amity had talked about when they had been sitting in her backyard playing twenty questions, that was personal and she was sure Amity wouldn’t appreciate her sharing those things with anyone.
She also carefully left out what happened in her bedroom. They would never go around telling people about it but that was something she wanted to keep all for herself. She decided to just conclude her story by saying the evening as a whole was… well, magical.
“That’s so romantic, Luz.” Willow gushed, holding her hands to her cheeks. “Like something out of a love story.” Gus made a face at that but still congratulated her.
"So, are you two dating or?" He asked quizzically.
"Well, we're going to meet for lunch today and it is a date...so, I guess?” She shrugged but there was a happily sheepish face on her smile.
“Whoo!” He cheered.
“I told you you could do it, Luz.” Willow smiled knowingly and Luz squinted at her. Now that she had a better view of the whole picture there was just something suspicious about how Willow had acted about it all over the last couple weeks; it suddenly clicked.
“You knew, didn't you? You knew Amity liked me the whole time,” she asked after a moment, but it wasn’t really a question. She knew she had been oblivious but she knew Willow was much more observant.
Willow’s eyes shot open and her cheeks turned pink.
“Well… yeah,” she admitted.
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” She threw up her hands.
“It wasn’t my place, would you really want to hear it from me rather than Amity herself? Didn’t you just say last night was amazing?” She held out a hand.
“It really was…” she smiled dumbly to herself, starting to drift into her thoughts of last night before catching the teasing grin on Gus’s face and snapped herself out of it. “You’re right… thanks, Willow.”
They spent the rest of the morning walking around the market and chatting before Luz realized it was almost time for her to meet Amity and waved goodbye to her friends as she took off toward the bakery, weaving through the moderate traffic of people meandering through the street and stopping to look at the various stalls and their wares.
She rounded the corner and could see the shop at the end of the street, but her eyes zeroed in immediately on Amity, standing outside of it, waiting, and Luz grinned, chest swelling at the sight of her. She was wearing the same outfit she had been the last time they had met in the market when she had let her borrow her fifth volume of the Azura series, except instead of her necklace she had Luz’s brooch pinned to the front of her dress and it made Luz giddy to see.
Amity hadn’t spotted her yet and she self-consciously brushed any imaginary dirt from her clothes and straightened out her hoody before jogging over.
“Hey, Amity!” she called.
The witch jumped, turning toward her and a smile immediately broke out on her face that made Luz’s stomach roll.
“Sorry, I was with Gus and Willow in the market, I hope you weren’t waiting long.”
“No! no, I just got here,” she quickly assured, a lie, she’d been waiting outside the shop for over half an hour, but Luz didn’t need to know that.
“Great!” She grinned and held the door open for Amity, who managed to keep her face only a slight pink as she walked into the shop with Luz hot on her heels.
The same man Luz had seen before looked up as the bell chimed and he greeted them.
“I’m gonna guess I know what you want?” She looks at Amity questioningly as they move toward the counter and she digs through her pocket for some of her tip money.
“No, let me, you’ve spent enough on me lately.” Amity quickly interjects. After everything Luz had done for her over the last few weeks she feels like she really needs to reciprocate in some way.
“I don’t mind.” Luz smiles and Amity knows she means it, but she feels guilty, unlike her, Luz probably has to work for her money and she knows well enough that flowers and jewelry aren’t cheap, besides, she wants to treat her.
“Please?” she insists and Luz can’t find any will to argue with that face.
“Okay” she nods, she is not going to argue about something so silly, she’s just excited to be here with her.
“Do you know what you want?” she asks and Luz taps her chin, contemplating the display case filled with food.
“I dunno, food is so different here than in the human world… I’m never sure what's not poisonous to me… or still alive…” she grimaces thinking of some of the things she’d seen Eda eat, or the weird things served in the cafeteria. Amity giggles at the look on her face. “Surprise me.” She finally shrugs and turns back to Amity, smiling.
“Alright.” she returns the smile but it turns into a grin. “I’ll try not to poison you.” she teases and Luz grins back.
“That would be very much appreciated. I’ll go find us somewhere to sit.” She pointed over her shoulder with a thumb. Amity nodded and she trotted off.
The place was mostly empty so she plopped herself on a stool at a small round top table near the windows. The bright sunlight streaming in warmed her face as she kicked her feet back and forth nervously.
This was her first date, and even though she liked to think she knew Amity pretty well and knew for a fact she felt the same way she did, it didn't stop the nervous energy bubbling up inside her.
She looked out the window at the various people and creatures moving about town. It was weird how used she had gotten to the sights after only about two months.
She must have been staring for a bit because suddenly Amity was sliding onto the stool across from her with two little white saucers with matching tarts on them. Thornberry tarts, Luz was sure.
"I hope this is okay…," Amity started, sliding one of the plates across the table to her.
"Yea!" Luz grinned, pulling it close to her. "They look just like the ones back home, I was half tempted to eat the one I got you," she said, looking down at the treat in front of her, it's deep red filling was shiny in the sunlight.
"Ed kept trying too...till I bit him," she mumbled the last part, but Luz heard her and looked up.
"You bit him?" she laughed, and Amity blushed.
"Only after the third time he tried to stick his hand in the box," she grumbled. Luz just snickered and Amity couldn't help but smile.
Amity waited, watching as Luz picked it up and took a bite; she really hoped she liked them. She didn't have to wait long as Luz's face immediately lit up, brown eyes sparkling in delight.
"These are so good!" she said with utter amazement after swallowing the bite. Amity smiled behind her own tart before taking a bite; sugary sweetness coated her tongue.
They didn't say much as they ate, Amity savoring hers and Luz practically wolfing down hers. It was hands down the best thing she'd ever eaten since coming to the Isles, she said as much too as she licked any remaining jam from her fingers.
"You have jam on your face,” Amity said in response, smiling.
Luz licked at her lip, hoping to get any remains of the sweet filling.
"Did I get it?"
"No," Amity snorted as Luz continued to try and lick off the jam and made silly faces as she tried. Amity rolled her eyes even as she grinned and picked up her napkin without thinking and reached the short span across the table to wipe the red smear of her date's cheek.
They both turned pink as soon as the action was finished.
"Oh, heh, thanks." Luz smiled sheepishly at her.
"No problem…" Amity trained her eyes on her food, till Luz smacked a hand on the table, making her head jerk back up.
"Why didn't you tell me I had your lipstick all over my face when I left last night!?" Luz suddenly said, remembering.
"What?" Amity's face darkened at the sudden exclamation.
"When I got home there was lipstick all over my mouth." As she said it her face pinked and Amity's went from pink to red.
"I…" Amity scoured her memories of last night, as though she hadn't a hundred times already since Luz had left Blight manor, but now she was thinking specifically of the few moments on the porch before Luz had flown off and realized there had been some discolored smudges around the other girls mouth. "I didn't notice," she finally said, eyes wide and mortified at the sudden realization. "I'm so sorry!" Her face was bright red.
"It's okay!" Luz waved a hand, chuckling. "Eda thought it was funny…she laughed for fifteen minutes… maybe next time let me know," she mumbled, still pink.
"Next time?" Amity squeaked, almost dropping her tart.
"I mean… not that there's going to be a… next time per say, or that there won't be... I uh…" she trailed off, not exactly sure where she was going with this.
Amity seemed to recover first, playing with the crumbling edges on the crust of her treat, face still hot, but looking up at Luz from beneath her lashes.
"I'll tell you next time," she finally said, the corners of her mouth twitching upwards.
Luz nodded, and couldn't keep the bashful grin off her face.
"Do you… want to go to the library?" Amity asked when she's finished eating and only crumbs remain on both their plates.
Luz perked up.
"Secret book club?" She grinned, bouncing in her seat and Amity chuckled.
"Secret book club," she agreed.
"Yes!" Luz flung herself off the seat but paused at the table side, a quick thought flashed through her mind and before she could doubt herself or rethink it, held her hand out to Amity who blinked at the outstretched appendage for a moment before smiling and slipping her hand into Luz's, fingers intertwined.
"Let's go!" Luz pulled them along as they ran out of the shop and down the street, both smiling, hand in hand.