"Look what I found!" Magnus announced as he entered the pantry at the House of Healing.
Holly looked up from her work, cataloging the new herbs she collected that morning. "Oh! How cute!"
Magnus was cradling a tiny black kitten in his arms. Holly put a jar back on the shelf and fluttered over to pet it. The kitten purred at her touch. "Where did you find it?"
"She was outside, in a shoebox. Alba's gonna love her!"
"Yeah... I'm not so sure about that."
"Why not? All witches have a cat."
"Yes, but Alba is-"
"I'm what?" The person in question entered the room. "Holly, didn't I tell you I need those... those... ACHOO!" she sneezed.
Her gaze scanned the room, locking on Magnus. "What is that?!"
"It's a kitten!" Magnus held the little creature out. "Isn't she cute?"
Alba wasn't impressed. "Take that out immediately! I'm allergic to cats!" She sneezed again for good measure.
"How can you be allergic? All witches have cats."
The little kitten yawned, revealing a mouth with tiny little fangs.
Alba glared at her two helpers. "Well, I don't, and I'm not about to start now. Now, why don't you take that little street urchin back where it belongs?"
"It's cold outside! She'll freeze!" Magnus protested.
Alba was about to answer, but instead broke into a series of sneezes. "Just get it out!" she yelled before making a hasty retreat from the pantry.
Magnus and Holly exchanged a glance, then they both looked at the kitten. She'd fallen asleep in the teenager's arms.
"I'll keep her under my bed," Magnus said. "Alba will never notice."