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"My my, what a state you girls are in. Cold, wet, broken, and what's this feeling in the air?" The old witch took a deep breath into her pointed nose." Fear, regret, scorn, confusion. If I didn't know any better i would think you two are married.”

The old woman cackled at her own joke. She was a heavy set woman who looked to be in her mid fifties. Her ears were well out of proportion for her head, and her face had wrinkles that peaked through despite heavy applications of expensive cosmetic creams. Her back was bent forward, and her clothes were made of leaves that were held together by ropes made of the woman's own black, greasy hair. She smelled of fish that had rolled itself in flowers, and despite the frigid temperatures, a constant river of sweat flowed from her brow, and into the crevasses of her face, smearing her makeup.

She loomed to Rosemary, her eyes narrowing at the shapely bruise around the girls throat. He then swiveled to the wingsuit which had suffered minor damage, then to Petunia. " My, my Petunia, so indecisive. Are you playing the hero or villain today?" She said as she approached the rainbow colored girl.

She reached her hand above Petunia who flinched as the witches' claws approached. From her hands fell a golden light. Petunia let out a scream as the sound of bone snapping back into place echoed through the tree hollow.

As Petunia continued to scream, Rosemary placed her hands over her ears, trying to block out the sounds but it did not help. She crawled her way to the leaf clad lady and grabbed her free hand. The screams began to be interjected with moments of sobbing and pleas to stop the pain.

"Please!" Rosemary screamed, pulling the woman's hand. "Please stop Madam. Blackthorn... Y-your hurting her. If you're mad because we were late, take it out on me. Please don't hurt her anymore."

Blackthorn ceased her spell and turned to Rosemary and slapped the girl across the cheek with a strong hand, the force knocking Rosemary to the side, she instinctively jutted out her hurt arm, which caved under the pressure and she fell, screaming. "I am helping her, you foolish girl! Healing magic is not a miracle! It does not cure you of pain and damage, it accelerates the healing process, and as i'm sure you know, healing hurts."

Rosemary, holding her arm, picked herself back up. She looked to Petunia. Steam was rising from the girl, who took deep breaths in between soft sobs.

"Ca... Can you at least go over a smaller area? Doing it all at once is... Torture."

"Hu? Whats that deary? Im not trying to torture her. I'm not a sadist! It's just that I'm such a powerful caster I can't do any less. This is me holding back." Blackthorn then raised her hand again and the golden glow began to creep its way back down to Petunia, whose eyes widened as it approached, the broken girl trying to crawl away, but the pain of the healing process had overwhelmed her nerve and she had lost all strength, resulting in her simple pawing at the cold dirt.

" Please!" Rosemary yelled. "Please try to be gentle," She said, tears streaming as though she shared Petunias' suffering.

Her teacher looked down at the crimson haired girl and retorted in a twisted voice. "Huuuu? Did you not hear me? I. Said. I. Can't. If you want a more gentle touch it requires a weaker spellcaster. Now if only there was a weaker spellcaster here, hmm Rosemary?"

Rosemary averted her eyes from the woman. "I... I can't. I don't know healing magic."

"No, Rosemary, you've never needed healing magic. Magic does not grant wishes, the desire to learn it is not enough. You must need it. Tell me Rosemary, do you need to know healing magic right now?"

Rose looked at Petunia who had passed out from a mix of pain and exhaustion. The golden light creeping closer.

"Y-yes! I need you to stop! I need to be the one to heal her. I can do it better because... Because I'm weak."

The witches eyes narrowed as she spoke under her breath. "Your half right, Rosemary Evergreen." The golden glow of the witches spell dissipated a centimeter from its target. "Eat your fruit." The witch said bluntly you have no more Mana after all you did to survive today.

Rose followed the witches instruction. The fruit had the same familiar texture it always had. As it slid down her throat it turned into a cool liquid that pooled in her stomach, then warmed itself as it dispersed Throughout the body, coating every cell with a thin layer of Mana.

She got into place over Petunia, putting her hand over the girls head. The witch circled the pair, tapping her staff as she did. "Breath, child."

Rosemary took a deep breath. "Feel that? How the wind in your breath comes from all directions as it fills your lungs? Push. Push from your hands your Mana like that, spreading it out as though your breath flows in reverse."

Rosemary had heard these same words before. Many times had they been told to her as she tried to learn this spell. She prayed to Naj'la, the spirit of magic that her spell may work.

As she let out her breath, she pushed the mana from her hands. From them came a golden light. It waved in an unsteady manner as it slowly reached its target.

The moment the light hit Petunias head, the Nymph shifted, the mild irritation seemed soothing compared to the agony she had insured moments prior. She opened her eyes to see the soft, gilded eyes of Rosemary behind a shimmering mist. She smiled calmly as she fell back into a peaceful sleep.

It took her an hour before all indication of damage was gone from Petunia. Her arm no longer sat at the unnatural angel it had. Her foot had no swelling, and her ribs had only the traces of a bruise let.

Blackthorn had watched the entire process with mild interest, occasionally snapping her fingers so as to keep Rosemary awake. But now as Rosemary had expended all her mana many times over, her body seemed thin from it all, she smiled at her sleeping friend and fell face first, her head landing on Petunias stomach.

The witch was left in silence as the two girls slept the day's trauma away. "My, my child, you continue to surprise me." As she walked to the opposite side of the tree hollow, she cast a spell onto the fire, causing roots to sprout from the ground, fueling the dying blaze. "I suppose I should prepare your graduation gift." The witch looked at the wingsuit that had been given to Rosemary on her twelfth birthday and smiled. "That will do." She said with the tone of a mother who had found the perfect gift for their child. “That will do nicely.”

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About the author

Zelda_Anne_Link

Bio: Hi im Zelda. I'm 23 and transgender (She/Her).
I'm just here to write my rough draft of the bell flower Malady, seeing how people react to it. Constructive criticism is appreciated.
Judging by the type of stories I see here I may be out of my element, but this website came highly recommended from a friend of mine so I hope it works out for the both of us. :)

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