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Luz had been in the Isles for quite a few months now.

Every passing day on the half-rotten corpse of a long gone titan was its very own adventure, constantly packed with action and possibly life-threatening beasts with a particularly intense thirst for blood.

Never-ending danger, however, wasn’t all the Boiling Isles had to offer. Just like in every gray cloud atop an even darker overcast sky, there was a silver lining; that being the sense of belonging that wrapped Luz up in its fluffy, candyfloss grasp and never let go. While the human realm was technically her home, the place she had spent the grand majority of her life living in, not once did it make her feel even half as accepted as this magical land.

She had friends here, real ones! Real, human –okay, maybe not the best choice of words, uh, witchy?– people her age who cared about her! Truly cared about her! Willow and Gus were the absolute best people she could ever have the chance to call friends, and being with them made her beyond happy. Knowing that her joyous feelings of amiable affection were returned tenfold was entirely new, even overwhelming at times, but she’d be damned if she ever turned her back to friendship.

Then there was Eda, her wacky mentor, who took her in with only a normal amount of suspicion, and whom Luz loved to bits. The most powerful witch in the Boiling Isles lived up to her name and Luz was honoured to be among the very few beings who got to share a house with her. Although, living in the same house as Eda proved to be an adventure of its own – and even after all this time, Luz couldn’t decide whether owl beast Eda was higher on the danger list than sleep-deprived Eda on a morning when the apple blood carton turned out to be empty.

Despite her reputation, and the, well, very substantial bounty on her head, Eda had turned out to be quite the softie. Maybe it was Luz’s total ray-of-sunshine outlook on life rubbing off on her, or maybe she had secretly always been tender-hearted; whichever the reason might have been, Luz loved living with her just the same. In a weird, tangled way, Eda reminded her of her mamá, back home. Whenever the witch would ruffle Luz’s hair with half-hidden pride or (attempt to) cook her favourite meal, a sharp jab of pain would strike Luz’s heart and settle deep inside it. She missed her mamá, she really did, and hoped she was okay all alone. It was better to try not to think about her.

Up until recently, the Owl House had been shared between three people, or, uh, creatures. King might be an absolute little baby and the most fiercely adorable king of demons, but he probably didn’t count as a person. Such a weird thing to think about, sharing a house with a demon. Mamá would lose her mind… Anyway. The Owl House had been ‘up until recently’ shared between that number of creatures because it had acquired a new resident, not very long ago.

Amity Blight.

Hexside’s prized star student, top of the Abomination coven, most promising witch of her grade. Athletic, rich, confident. Part of the magical school’s group of bullies, until Luz came along and turned her world upside down.

Gosh, Amity. The moment the façade she had been forced to put up started to fade, Luz knew she had gained another best friend. From distant and cold, sometimes even harsh (Luz still shuddered at the memory of being almost dissected on her first day at school because of her) Amity did a full one-eighty and turned into the biggest, nerdiest, most caring dork the human had ever laid eyes upon. It was remarkable.

There was much more going on in the young witch’s life than she let on, and Luz figured that out upon discovering her secret library hideout and accidentally being pulled into reading (hearing? Watching?) some of her diary. She never pushed, opting instead to just ask and patiently wait for her friend to open up on her own accord. Her patience wasn’t for naught, because just a few days after her initial inquiry, Amity finally pulled Luz aside and let her worries spill out of her for the first time in… her whole life, actually.

And so, Luz learned all about her friend’s parents, who were entirely too controlling and pushed Amity to reach and obtain ridiculously high standards, consoled her when she broke down in the middle of uttering for the very first time that she feels unloved in the space she grew up in, and held her hand comfortingly in the silence that followed.

That silence didn’t last very long, however, because before she herself even knew it, Hexside’s resident human was dramatically raising their entwined hands and proclaiming that she, being Amity’s fearless champion, couldn’t possibly allow such a terrible weight to be pressed onto her maiden in distress’ shoulders. And that she, right this second, was inviting Amity to move in with her, and Eda, and King, to the Owl House, if she so desired; because she was welcome there, and very much loved, and very much allowed to make her own choices, goddamnit!

After a half-hearted apology to the heavens for swearing, and a dazed stare from the stunned witch that escalated into an enthusiastic nod and resulted in a bone-crushing emotional hug, planning was underway. It took relatively little time to concoct the scheme itself, but much more to act on it. The emotional preparations Amity needed to make were considerably more difficult than just sneaking out; and Luz respected that, so she was willing to give her friend all the time she needed.

Approximately a week later, everything was ready. The Blight twins had been notified beforehand, and helped temporarily disable the security hexes that surrounded the manor’s perimeter. Amity, with an Abomination to help her carry chests full of her belongings, was to sneak out in the middle of the night and start a trek to the Owl House. The note she had left on the console table by the front door was addressed to her mother, and explained that she was leaving, that she would be safe, and not to look for her, because for once, she was making her own choices and demanded that to be respected.

Luz paced anxiously at the door while she waited. She wished to be able to help her friend out, even just to carry something, but Amity had insisted Luz stay in the house and wait. So that’s what she did, getting more nervous by the second, and even Eda was on edge, masking her worry behind the metallic clicking of needles as she knitted on the sofa.

King was very much unperturbed, dozing off next to the witch with his bunny plushie. He had initially been opposed to sharing a house with ‘his arch nemesis, the Cupcake Crusher’ but gave in surprisingly quickly after receiving just a few scratches on his tummy.

At long last, Hooty announced he had spotted a figure entering the clearing, and Luz all but slammed the magical door open before running out to greet her friend.

“You okay?” she asked in a quiet voice, pulling the backpack Amity was carrying off her back. She didn’t pay attention to Eda as she painstakingly hauled the chests in through the door, with King laughing madly at her, the witch threatening to have him stuffed.

She took a good look at the witchling in front of her. Her shoulders were tense, but not bunched up around her neck anymore. The spark in her golden eyes was still there, thank goodness, although lightly muted. But that could be just because of the late hour. Her pupils were blown wide, taking up space among the gold, and she blinked once, slowly.

As Luz’s gaze studied her friend’s face, Amity smiled – it wasn’t a grin, but it wasn’t a forced expression, either. It conveyed trust, and comfort, and appreciation. At first Luz was startled, Amity was never this easy to read… But maybe she was just allowing herself to open up more now, since the pressure of her family could no longer reach her in the safe haven of the Owl House. Or maybe Luz had just gotten better at telling.

Amity hummed before responding, unexpectedly wrapping her fingers around Luz’s arm and leaning in, touching her forehead on the human’s jaw and softly nuzzling against it, mumbling a soft “I’m okay” onto her neck with another deep, rumbly hum. Luz was very much dumbfounded by the unusual display of affection, even more so at Amity’s bashful smile and blush when she pulled back.

Before Luz could think up a reply, however, Amity reclaimed her backpack from Luz’s shoulders and advanced into the house. The sound of conversation between her and Eda was muted to Luz’s ears and the side of her neck tingled pleasantly, but she pulled herself out of the reverie with a shake of her head.

Right. She should go help settle Amity’s things. Yes, on it.

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It didn’t take long for the new member of the Owl House to be integrated into the routine of the place. Luz would wake up for school and find Amity in her room next door already awake, bed made, uniform on and spotless, hair neatly placed into its usual half ponytail. They’d go downstairs together for breakfast, giggle at King and Eda’s lighthearted bickering, and get to class. Later, after the school day ended, they’d meet outside the main gates and walk back home, talking about their classes.

It was the remaining hours of each passing day that kept intriguing Luz more and more. She made mental notes of all her new discoveries about her roommate, fascinated by them. For example:

As soon as they walked through the door, Amity would head to the bathroom to wash her makeup off. Why she insisted on putting it on each morning in the first place, Luz didn’t know – her friend was breathtakingly beautiful either way… What? It was objectively true!

After that and some homework with Luz in the living room, Amity would enter the kitchen for a snack break. She’d return with an apple most of the time, and when she’d bite into it, two fangs would reveal themselves on the sides of her upper jaw. (The first time Luz noticed that she squealed in excitement and adorableness, but Amity insisted it’s perfectly normal thank you very much, and made no further comments.)

Added point to the apple thing: should the apple’s skin be stained with darker spots or bruises, Amity would carefully peel a circle around the area before resuming with her snack. Although that may sound perfectly normal, most notable is the way she’d accomplish such a feat, and Luz was absolutely stunned at the revelation; the witch would curl her fingers into her palm and when she’d stretch them out again, a sharp set of small claws would have taken the place of her usually neat and trimmed fingernails!

Claws!! Luz was ecstatic and demanded a slower presentation, filming it on her battered phone and fawning over it while Amity blushed darker than her forgotten fruit snack.

Speaking of Amity’s face being set on fire, Luz’s mental list of her friend’s interesting characteristics didn’t skip this one. Edric had once told her that his baby sister getting red in the face meant she was angry, and even though that was true too, it wasn’t the only case. Amity would blush when she was embarrassed, or when she was happy, and even when Luz looked at her for a second too long, presumably because she wasn’t used to being stared at.

Accompanying her blush, every single time, was something much more subtle that Luz started noticing a few weeks after the Blight moved in; and that was her ears.

Depending on the circumstance and Amity’s mood, her ears would tilt, or twitch, or even flap to express her emotions. Luz knew of people who could move their ears, but this was a whole new level and she needed to know more. So, like every normal person would, she set up an experiment.

It was almost sundown and the two girls were finishing up on some schoolwork in the living room like normal. Luz was procrastinating and Amity was filling up an advanced worksheet that seemed excessively complex for this grade. While the witch was deeply focused on her work, Luz stealthily inched closer; and paused.

No reaction. Good.

Once more, then again. Her leg was almost touching the witch’s that sat next to her now, and she inconspicuously slid her own homework closer to play it safe.

A couple seconds passed, and once again, Amity seemed too interested in her work to notice. Luz grinned, took a small breath in, and puffed a subtle gust of air onto her ear. Very subtle, barely there.

And… Yes! Victory! Amity’s ear twitched in response, and Luz could barely contain the sound of pure glee that threatened to burst out of her lungs at the sight.

There was a theory forming in her brain. A theory that would require more observation, and more info.

And what if it was an excuse to look at pretty Amity Blight in her spare time? It was for science! Only science, nothing more. Nope. Nada.

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This scientific investigation was probably the most professional one Luz’s scattered mind had ever ventured into. She dedicated a brand new glyph notebook for this project alone, more than happy to use it up for this project instead of magic practice.

The notebook would work as a note keeper, to ensure she wouldn’t forget any crucial details about her new observations. After jotting down the information about her roommate that she had recently found out, surrounded of course by an overwhelming amount of doodles and maybe some mindlessly drawn hearts that she decided to ignore, Luz shut the notebook and hid it in a drawer of her desk before leaving her room for more research.

The fun part of said research was that she didn’t have to really do anything to make progress. She spent practically all her day around Amity anyway, and the Blight kept getting more and more comfortable in her presence.

(Important parenthesis: Amity’s parents weren’t very pleased, to say the least, with their daughter’s departure in the dead of night. Amity skipped school after the first few days to lay low, but all it took to properly stop Alador and Odalia Blight from setting up a search party for their youngest offspring was a visit from a certain woman who bared the title of most powerful witch in the Boiling Isles. Eda stubbornly refused to elaborate on the events that took place during that lovely visit, but their results were very successful so the two girls never pushed. There was a certain rumour that spread around town, however, regarding a golden explosion near the Blight Mansion. Go figure.)

So without the pressure of having to hide, Amity finally let her hidden true colours show with no hesitation to speak of. Witnessing this flourish in her friend’s attitude was utterly captivating to Luz, and she loved spending time with her more and more.

One of the most unexpected changes in Amity’s behaviour were constant expressions of affection. The witchling barely ever initiated physical contact herself before moving out of her family house, seemingly uncomfortable and twitchy whenever someone (Luz) snuck up on her for a hug or touched her hair. Now, however, Amity seemed to gain comfort from being close to someone throughout the day – whether that meant leaning her head on Luz’s shoulder as they read Azura together, absentmindedly petting King while deeply focused on schoolwork, or even nuzzling her face against Eda’s hand whenever the adult witch would ruffle her hair the same way she did for Luz.

It seemed like finally, Amity was starting to heal from the harsh and unforgiving environment she grew up in.

The Boiling Isles’ only human and professional cuddlebug simply adored this change of pace. She had always been touchy by nature, and cherished a new chance for physical contact, especially with a pretty sweetheart like Amity Blight.

A startling find that followed this snuggly turn of events was yet another thing that added to Luz’s big, grand theory: Amity purred!

Yup! Purred! The tranquil, low-pitched but unmistakable sound of a purr coming from deep within Amity’s chest was a (-relatively rare, but still frequent enough-) companion to the witch’s most recently acquired behaviour.

Should Eda cook a meal Amity was particularly fond of for dinner, the rumble behind her collarbones would kick-start like a well-oiled machine; should Luz hug her for a little longer than usual, there it would go again, quiet and subtle but so clearly there, that it might as well have been booming like the clash of thunder of a boiling rainstorm in Luz’s ears. It made her heart do backflips, every single time.

Wait, hold on – that hum Amity made when she first came to the Owl House… holy guacamole, she was purring. Oh my gosh. No wonder she blushed.

The next unpredictable but pleasant surprise was Amity loosening up with her school-related perfectionism. She realised, after a long talk with her friends, that getting accepted into the prestigious Emperor’s Coven was more of a parental demand than something she felt suited her; so she decided to let herself relax a little until she figured out a career path of her own. Luz couldn’t be prouder.

That being said, the long hours Amity and Luz would spend studying lessened significantly, and allowed them both more time to themselves. They’d spend that free time practicing magic together, running errands for Eda and possibly getting into trouble, having fun with Willow and Gus or just leisuring in the Owl House.

The latter gave Luz another chance to expand that secret theory of hers; because when at home with no important commitments taking up her time, Amity would let the pointers on her watch tick on by… napping. Napping a lot, actually, and very deeply. The world could be collapsing in on itself but Amity would only wake up if someone physically nudged her (scratch that. Only if Luz physically nudged her. Should anybody else attempt to shake Amity out of her naptime, she’d hiss and retreat to her room to brood study. If that someone was Luz, however, Amity would make an adorable little prrbt? sound before stretching her limbs) or if Hooty dared squeak in her general proximity.

Luz never perceived her friend to be the napping type, but of course, she was in for a surprise. Practically every time things were slow and quiet in the cozy warmth of the Owl House, Luz would find her friend on any soft surface, fast asleep.

Sunspots where the light would filter through the house’s wide windows were a particular favourite of the witchling, who would grab a pillow from the couch and curl up right on the floor, dozing off practically instantly, unperturbed by the solid wood beneath her. As time rolled by and the sunshine glided across the floor, Amity, still very much asleep, would languidly stretch and shift to follow it.

King would even join her sometimes, grumbling stubbornly about the best napping place in the house being stolen, but snuggling up against the purring witch with sleepy glee.

It was, to put it plainly, the cutest thing Luz had ever laid eyes upon. The amount of photos of the two little nappers (together or separately) that took up space in her phone was an undoubtable tell of that.

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It was finally time!

Luz had filled up that secret little notebook of hers almost entirely, now, with notes and doodles and too many hearts to speak of. She was ready, she was pumped, she was a fierce scientist who treasured her work and definitely knew what she was doing.

Eda was out for her borderline illegal activities, Hooty was miraculously silent, and all her best friends were in the living room, waiting for the promised ‘mind-blowing reveal that would BLOW THEIR MINDS’, said twice for well-deserved emphasis.

Mimicking the sound of a trumpet, Luz strode into the room and slammed the notebook on the table. Willow, Gus, and Amity all leaned in from their seats around the table to observe the glittery mess that was the cover.

There was a beat of silence.

“What… are we looking at, exactly?” Willow asked, arching one eyebrow.

“My research!” Luz beamed and cleared her throat to begin reciting her planned monologue. “After many weeks of careful observation, experiments, and dutiful note-taking, I have come to a conclusion so definite that there’s no room for doubt.”

Her friends all looked at her with wide eyes, drawn in by her presentation. If there was anything they’ve grown to learn about Luz in all their time together, it’s that she could be very, very unpredictable.

Luz wore her most serious face, turning to the girl on her left. “Amity Blight…” she started, with that accent she seemed to always take when uttering her friend’s full name, and paused as Amity blushed and shrank a little under her gaze.

“Um, yes?”

“You…” Luz squinted, pointing a finger at her as the other two held their breath, only to do a complete one-eighty and turn right back to her cheerful attitude:

“Are such a kitty cat!!”

For added effect, Luz brought her hands to Amity’s face and squished her cheeks, cooing as the witch’s ears tilted down and she turned bright red but didn’t protest at the lighthearted mushing of her facial features. Willow giggled tactfully in the background.

“Lush- wait, Lush- whatsh a cat?”

Luz let go, shocked. “You don’t know what a cat is?!”

“Oh, oh! I know!!” Gus jumped in, raising his hand. “A cat is a furry animal from the human world, capable of hunting pray for days and mauling humans to death! I think she’s calling you dangerous, Amity.”

“What? I’m not- I wouldn’t hurt you!”

“I know you wouldn’t! Gus, that’s not the kind of cat I’m walking about, although I guess there are big ones too? But no, ugh, hold on, King!”

“Weh?” came from upstairs.

“Bring me my phone, I need it!” Luz called out, flipping through her notebook while King’s adorable little footsteps echoed down the stairs, unaware that Amity was gently patting her previously squished cheek with a bashful smile.

King finally stepped into the room, Luz’s batwinged phone in hand, and with a pout written all over his skull. “I was halfway through my pre-nap routine! I could have my army claim your soul if I wanted to make you pay for your heinous crimes against the King of Demons!”

“Aww, did I interrupt you when you were picking a plushie to cuddle with, ya big cutie?” Luz cooed yet again, and in surprising sync, the four friends brought their hands to their faces at King’s sour, sleepy expression, with a harmonised “aww!”

“IT’S NOT A PLUSHIE! THEY ARE MY SOLDIERS, I COMMAND THEM, THEY WOULD SHED BLOOD IN MY NAME, HOW DARE YOU-”

“Come here, you,” Amity interrupted this time, nonchalantly pulling the protesting fur ball onto her lap, where he squirmed for approximately three and a half seconds before going out cold. Amity plucked the human device from his paws and passed it to Luz, who smiled a beaming grin before unlocking it, in search for her photo album.

“Here, see?” she said to the group after finding the right cat videos. “This is what a normal cat looks like. Not murderous, Gus, these little guys are our friends.”

Gus dutifully snapped a picture with his scroll, muttering that “this’ll show Mattholomule” under his breath and starting to type something on his device, while Willow commented on the cuteness of the foreign fluffy creature Luz was showing them.

The human turned her eyes to Amity, who hadn’t said a word so far, wondering what her input might be. What she didn’t expect to see, though, was the witch baring her fangs at the looping video of a white kitten playing with a toy mouse, her ears flat against her head, pupils blown wide. Luz wheezed out a laugh, trying her best to keep it down while Willow did the same as she shared a gleeful glance with her multitrack friend.

“Am- Amity –pfft– Amity, it’s just a video,” Luz struggled behind her hand, finding it best to put her phone down lest Amity tried to pounce on it. Having lost eye contact with her apparent foe, Amity went right back to normal, blinking a couple times, but still squinting at the phone that was now turned upside down on the tabletop.

Luz wiped tears of laughter off her eyes and Willow took her glasses off to wipe them on the hem of her dress, pretending to be very focused on her task and biting her lip to hide a grin. Gus was completely unaware, still typing furiously on his scroll.

Amity crossed her arms, pursing her lips in an all-too-familiar pout, pointedly looking away and huffing. “I don’t like it.”

Once again, Luz giggled, and patted the witch’s hair with her hand. “You might not like them, but that’s just extra proof for my theory. Cats happen to be extremely territorial.”

After she gave no response other than yet another huff, Willow decided to step in. “Jealousy aside, what else does Amity have in common with these… cats? They don’t look alike, that’s for sure.”

Luz beamed and clapped her hands, ignoring Amity’s muttered “damn right we don’t” and grabbed her notebook with excited glee. “I’m so glad you asked.”

Time ran by while Luz explained her findings. King got up from Amity’s lap at some point, muttering something about too much noise, and groggily curled up on the couch. Gus, who had been typing for ages and only half-listening, interrupted to explain that he had to go meet Matt in the library, because he was too stubborn to believe that cats exist. So he made an early leave.

That left the three girls in the living room, and every passing minute seemed to make Amity blush a little more. After Luz brought up her purring, Amity promptly shut her down by saying that she does no such thing; but not only did Willow bring up how she’d purr all the time when they hang out together as kids, all Luz had to do was scratch a specific point below Amity’s ears and she got reduced to a purring puddle of joy.

Amity was practically on fire at this point, but Luz felt her heart melt.

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By the time Luz finally finished presenting her research, Amity was face down on the table, ears twitching slightly. She sighed a muffled, “You’re all ganging up against me,” which caused the other two to start laughing again, failing to notice that Amity was smiling too.

Eda, who had returned from whatever scam errand she had been out for, was in the kitchen; and by the sound of pots and pans being chaotically banged together, was cooking up dinner. “Hey dweebs,” she called out to the girls, voice lightly muffled beneath the noise, “I’m making pixie pasta for tonight. You gonna stay for that, Flower Power?”

Willow, who had a comforting hand on the shoulder of a still dramatically slumped Amity, responded that “I’d love to! I should call my dads first to be sure, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. And pixie pasta is one of my favourites!”

It was only then that Luz noticed just how much time had passed. The sun was already close to setting, casting long, lazy orange rays along the living room’s walls and floor. She smiled to herself, grateful that she had such good friends to hang out with that time seemed to fly by when they were all together.

Luz excused herself, deciding it was time to leave her notebook back upstairs, to which Amity wordlessly responded with an adorable thumbs-up. She heard the vague sound of a conversation starting between the two witchlings as she climbed up the stairs, but was already too far to make out the words.

She reached her bedroom, leaving the door half-closed out of instinct, smiling to herself as she flipped through the notebook’s pages one more time. It was so fun, doing all this research and keeping all those notes. Even more so, since Amity was the centre of it all. It just felt… easy to observe her. Luz’s eyes just seemed to linger on her naturally, all by themselves.

The human winced when her finger brushed over the shimmering letters of the cover, picking off glitter and getting it all over her clothes. Cripes, glitter stuck. Maybe she had gone a little bit overboard with that… She grimaced before setting the notebook down in its drawer and grabbing a shirt to change into, not wanting to get glitter all over the house again; Hooty still coughed iridescent little sparks sometimes, and yes, it was just as disturbing as the first time.

She was just about to make her return downstairs when she heard two voices coming from somewhere nearby. Eda and Willow were talking rather quietly, weren’t they? Luz peeked her head out of the doorframe.

“I’ve got the table set, where’s the kid?”

“She’s still upstairs, I think. I’m sure she’ll be back down soon. Amity fell asleep so suddenly, I didn’t even know that was possible-”

That pulled a snort out of Eda.

“Ha! I’m telling you, that girl’s taking after me. Titan, they grow up so fast,” her voice grew thinner, and Luz could practically see Eda in her head, dramatically wiping away a tear. Willow laughed, and a set of footsteps returned to the kitchen.

“Right,” Willow’s voice was heard, and she was probably just talking to herself. “I should probably wake Amity up.” Then she walked away too, and there was silence.

Luz straightened up from her spot in the doorway, stretching her arms high above her head with a yawn. All this talk about naps made her sleepy too! But after the big growl that came from her stomach, she was reminded that dinner was a priority.

So Luz started a comfy descend down the hallway to the stairs, thinking about how glad she was that her friends got along with Eda. Sure, it could be a tiny bit unsettling to find out that your friend lives with the Isles’ most wanted criminal, so everyone was understandably tense at first. But of course, Eda’s shining personality quickly came to the spotlight, and all of Luz’s friends grew to love her.

Willow sounded totally comfortable around her! That was great. She even---

Wait. Willow…

Oh god, Willow was going to wake up Amity!

Everyone knew how that went, hell, even Eda tiptoed around the easily grumpy witch when she was asleep. She had to hurry! She had to do it herself or else Amity would get all moody again!

(Sure, maybe she was overreacting a little bit. She just didn’t want her closest friend to feel bad, that’s all!)

So she skipped down the rest of the stairs as quietly as her stomping footsteps allowed, only to reach the living room and… freeze.

Amity was laying on her designated sunny spot, clearly half-asleep, but instead of cuddling a pillow beneath her head, she was resting on Willow’s legs as the plant-track witch carded her fingers through aquamarine hair with overgrown auburn roots.

The dying gleam of the setting sun illuminated them both, reflecting against the frame of Willow’s glasses and the magenta gem pendant Amity always wore. They looked so… beautiful, honestly, wow. Luz’s heart leaped in her chest and caught her off guard.

She was just about to delve into whatever that was about when Willow’s eyes caught her, and the girl motioned her to come closer. Luz’s legs moved before she even willed them to, but her brain was too busy short-circuiting to notice.

Firm, warm wood met her knees when she settled down next to the two witches, earning a beaming grin from Willow and a catch in her breathing. How had she never noticed how bright her friend’s smile was?

The air around the three of them seemed to come to a standstill, and Luz found herself smiling back. Breaking the silent atmosphere that overtook the room was only a familiar, quiet but distinguishable rumble coming from the charmingly curled up form of Amity, who rightfully relished in the feeling of a hand going through her hair.

“I tried to wake her up,” Willow whispered conspiringly, humour and fondness lacing her voice. “She just grabbed my hand and laid on me. I somehow feel bound by law to stay here until she gets up by herself,” she chuckled.

Luz giggled along, watching as Amity’s eyelids fluttered under a rogue strand of hair. She reached out with her hand to move it out of the way, but the witch’s ‘quick grabbers’ latched on to her wrist, tugging the human’s hand close. All Luz could do was sigh and shake her head, moving her fingers to that well-loved spot right below Amity’s ear; causing the saccharine sound of purring to grow louder as Amity let out a happy exhale and shifted gently on Willow’s lap.

“Aww, gatita,” Luz whispered, not daring to speak in a louder voice, lest she break the calmness swimming in the air. “You should really get up now. We’re gonna miss dinner.”

Amity just curled up tighter, nuzzling her cheek on Willow’s thigh and strengthening her grip on Luz’s hand defiantly while a pout formed on her face. “Five more minutes…”

A sweet laugh burst out of Willow and she ruffled the hair she’d been patiently stroking.

Luz looked out the window; the sun was starting to set, now. Stunning purple and pink were slowly taking over the sky like splotches of paint on an artist’s canvas. The few clouds left were nothing but faint shadows upon a quickly fading light.

The bubbly feeling of belonging that this strange land brought to Luz’s chest came back with a vengeance as her friends spoke in hushed, unhurried voices.

Luz had been in the Isles for quite a few months now.

And as the soothing sounds of laughter and purring melted with the contented beating of her own heart, Luz felt right at home.