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blossoming

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The sun was just beginning to rise when Hyejin slid out of the backdoor of the house she shared with Hyojung. She pulled her dressing gown tighter around her body, shivering in the cold early morning air. There were a few birds twittering away in the trees and Hyejin smiled at the sound. At least she had some company, it seemed like everyone else in the neighbourhood was still fast asleep.

With a small flick of her wrist, Hyejin opened up the door to the greenhouse at the bottom of the garden. The humidifier whirred in the corner as she entered, and Hyejin watched as it floated past her, spraying a gentle mist across the plants inside.

“Good morning,” Hyejin murmured. She crouched down to survey the plants in front of her, the newest additions to her ever growing collection. The seeds that Shiah had sent over from Supernova were beginning to sprout, little green stems poking out from above the soil. She glanced at the pots of chamomile and rosemary on the shelf. They were looking good too, and Hyejin made a mental note to begin packaging them up to distribute them to all the apothecaries in the area. There was a big brown leather-bound book sitting on the dining room table with the names of every witch and wizard who had ordered supplies, she would have to sit down with Hyojung after and sort through them all. She moved along to look at her orchid, running her fingers over the leaves as she searched for any brown or black spots. She and Hyojung had been away from home for almost a week visiting Jiho on the other side of town, and although the system she’d set up in her greenhouse (she’d placed charms on the watering can and humidifier so that they levitate periodically, making sure every plant got the care they needed) was virtually foolproof, Hyejin had been restless the night before, tossing and turning in bed. She’d been eager to check on their progress.

Once Hyejin deemed everything was okay, she sat back on her heels and looked around. The gardenias on the back wall were starting to bloom nicely, and the amaryllis plants tucked away in the corner were growing well too. Hyejin rose to her feet and was just about to check on her blackberries when the door to the greenhouse creaked open.

“Hyejin, it’s six in the morning.”

Hyejin plucked one of the berries from the plant and popped it into her mouth. “I know,” She said. “I just wanted to check on how all the plants were doing.”

There was a sigh behind her, and Hyejin turned to face Hyojung who stood with her arms crossed. Her hair was in a messy bun and she was wearing odd fluffy socks. “Couldn’t you have waited a few more hours?” Hyojung asked. “It’s cold in bed without you.”

“I couldn’t sleep,” Hyejin said, walking over to Hyojung and offering her a berry. Hyojung took it and linked their arms together.

“How’s the orchid doing?” Hyojung asked, after a moment of scanning Hyejin’s face. She was probably going to suggest Hyejin started taking sleeping potions again, and Hyejin appreciated the gesture, but it was just stress that had kept her up - the stress of being away from home, from her plants, and the thought of all the orders she’d have to sort through and send off when they got back. The greenhouse was Hyejin’s sanctuary, her safe place. A day of lounging around and being in a place she loved with the person she loved would do her good.

“It’s doing well, it looks healthy,” Hyejin said, pointing to where it sat on the shelf. The watering can was floating above it, spraying it lightly with water.

“The flowers look pretty,” Hyojung said, walking forward to gently touch the petals.

“They do,” Hyejin agreed.

Hyojung shivered beside her and tugged on Hyejin’s arm. “Come back inside? I’ll make you some tea.” Hyojung linked their hands together and squeezed Hyejin’s lightly.

“Okay,” Hyejin said. A cup of tea sounded like a good idea. Hyejin allowed Hyojung to pull her out of the greenhouse, and she cast one last look over her shoulder at the contents within before she shut the door with a flick of her fingers.