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Maybe we can Grow Together- What do you Say?

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So, here’s the thing.

Luz has had crushes before. 

Granted, none of them have been necessarily huge ones, but they still count. Luz has never been one to fall in love with everyone she meets, but her feelings do have a reputation for coming out of nowhere. 

Her first had been on Adrian; a boy with shiny brown eyes and who always sat in the seat in front of her. He passed her their graded test papers for years and years until her crush flared up, and exactly nothing ever came of it. Luz consistently made a fool of herself in front of him, but he must have just chalked that up to her being The Weird Kid.

Ultimately, he never paid much attention to her, and the crush died out.

There was a few more over the years, of course; that tall, fluffy-haired upperclassman who went on runs past Luz’s house in the months they wouldn’t freeze, the lunch lady’s cute daughter who didn’t go to Luz’s school but would sometimes sit in the cafeteria when her mother worked, the nice jock who always made sure to give her a kind word whenever they crossed paths in the hallway. Luz could go on. She’s had crushes before. Plenty of them.

She’s just- never been friends with any of them, until now. 

But, wait wait wait; that’s not how this starts.

This is:

When Luz first meets Amity, it’s not love at first sight. Far from it, actually, and for good reason; her first impression of the witchling is that she is very clearly a bully, which ends up being fairly accurate in its own right. 

She’s cruel to Willow, cruel in general, is obviously top of the school in Abominations at least; while Luz doesn’t necessarily hate her, she finds Amity very irritating, just as she did the same, rich bullies at her old school. Plus, there’s the whole- you know, the whole attempted dissection thing. Luz knows there’s two sides to every story, but yikes, she’s not going to forget that anytime soon. (Although, maybe with her trope-loving heart, she should've figured it out sooner; she usually adores enemies to lovers.) 

Luz doesn’t expect to see Amity again when she goes to her first-ever witch Covention, but when she does find her there, admittedly, she’s not sure what to say. How do you talk to the person who tried to dissect you and who’s the cause of your new friend’s suffering?

They clash once more, and this time, there’s no one to stop them. 

“I challenge you to a Witches Duel!” Luz shouts at some point, valiantly trying to get the upper hand. 

Amity’s eyes flash. She steps closer, gets into Luz’s face in what has to be an intimidation tactic. “I accept,” she says, and Luz feels like she might have something to worry about with the way the other girl’s smirk widens. Especially when she foolishly gambles her future study of magic. It’s not the smartest thing she’s ever done. 

Cheating isn’t something Luz ever enjoys doing, but the fear of losing the duel and being unable to learn magic ever makes the decision for her. 

When Amity’s also exposed for cheating, Luz is relieved for a split-second, because this means they both cheated, and that dulls the guilt in her chest, but then horrified confusion begins to cloud the witchling’s face, and Luz knows it’s some sort of awful misunderstanding. “I- I didn’t know!” Amity stammers, and Luz believes her. She opens her mouth to say something; what, she doesn’t know- maybe apologize, maybe start another fight, but Amity’s gone before she can even try, bolting out of the room as fast as she can. 

So Luz goes after her. 

And she knows Amity’s upset, but she still doesn’t expect to find her in a dark corner, huddled up in the tightest ball she can manage. 

“I have been working my whole life to get to the top!” Amity snaps when Luz tries to console her, and Luz thinks, oh, no, because now guilt is tugging at the bottom of her stomach as she suddenly remembers that despite Eda’s amazing qualities, she’s not always the best role model. Luz should’ve never gone through with the duel. 

Amity ends up disbanding the Everlasting Oath, a surprisingly kind move from her. Luz lets the little light spell disintegrate, and they blink at each other for a moment. 

Luz then gives her an awkward smile. “So, uh.. see you around?”

The other girl’s features sharpen; she sighs, but it sounds more exasperated than truly angry. “No.” 

And then she walks away. Intelligently, Luz lets her go. 

They’re not friends. But Luz kind of wants them to be, and she likes to think that’s a dream that could possibly come true. 

The library is a turning point for them. 

Amity having a job there isn't too surprising, all things considered; she's clearly of the studious nature, and also a bit of a teacher’s pet. But what is surprising is what she does at the library; Luz could never have guessed that reads to children every weekend would be what she actually does. 

It's cute. It proves Amity’s more than The Top Student, and Luz likes that. She probably shouldn't have told Amity that, though.

Also, Amity’s siblings are weird. They’re cool - really cool - and they’re older and they’re confident and they seem to enjoy Luz’s company, but they seem to share their younger sister’s mean streak, too. Most of the pranks are fine, harmless, even, but stealing someone’s diary and exposing it to social media is a bit much, especially for a beginning prankster like herself.

And- Luz has never had any siblings of her own, and she knows that siblings have a weird way of showing affection, but, uh, she thinks that this might be going a tad too far. But Edric and Emira insist on it, and she doesn’t know what to do. 

(Finding out Amity’s an apparent fan of The Good Witch Azura is a pleasantly surprising twist. And she’s a big fan, too, judging by the self-inserted fanart that Luz understands all too well.)

Inevitably, it all falls apart anyways. Luz really needs to stop almost befriending not-so-great people.

Amity is hurt and accusatory when she finds Luz and her siblings in her hideout, and with the way her diary’s pages are strewn across the floor, there’s not much Luz can say to defend herself. But being given the title bully (and it kind of being accurate) hurts more than she can say. 

Sure, Amity’s not the friendliest, but what has Luz ever done for her besides cause her trouble and provoke her? Nothing. 

She has to make up for it.  

But of course, as they usually do, Luz’s previous shenanigans with the twins backfire disastrously, and while she and Amity don't quite succumb to being sewn into a children’s book for all eternity, it's very close. 

(She hears Amity laugh for the first time - because of her - and the warmth that pools in her stomach is so comforting that she nearly forgets how tragically she and Amity have been getting along in the past.)

When it’s all done and they’ve cleaned up the library once more, Luz gives her the newest Azura book in another form of apology. And when Amity starts to walk away, she thinks she catches the tiniest hint of a smile on the other girl’s face. 

After the library incident, though, there’s a noticeable change in Amity’s behavior. Sure, not really when she’s around Boscha and her group, but that’s okay. Baby steps. They see each other around town a few times and Amity’s perfectly polite; she thanks Luz for lending her the book and promises she’ll be able to return it soon, Luz tells her not to rush and to enjoy it- it’s her favorite. 

And at the Knee, too- away from the confines of Hexside and social structures, Amity is so much kinder. She seems content to speak with Luz, even willing when the other option is her siblings, and that she too reads Azura guides them past a lot of the awkward beginnings of friendship. Having something they both love equally gives them something to talk about when other conversation stalls, and Luz hasn’t ever had someone to talk about Azura with before, besides the online community. 

And it’s… nice.

Amity can be nice. 

They walk that line for a week or so; Amity flat-out ignores her whenever they're in school or she’s with Boscha, but when she’s not, she greets Luz politely and always seems pleased to see her. It's not something that can last, and Luz isn’t stupid enough to believe otherwise. All she can hope is that when something bends, it bends in a good way.

When Amity destroys Willow’s mind, Luz thinks maybe they can’t be friends. At least, not if this is something Amity’s apparently capable of. But context, oh, context is everything, and Luz knows that, so she gives her the benefit of the doubt. 

That Amity was only trying to burn one specific memory rather than them all is… better. Not great, but better. 

That Amity is genuinely apologetic and agrees to help fix her mistake is much better. 

(They've touched before, and Luz won't think about it until weeks from now, but she’ll remember just how warm Amity’s hand feels in hers when they’re sent into Willow’s memories.)

Seeing Willow’s memories of her friendship with Amith is a bit of an eye-opener; tiny Amity is adorable, almost as cute as tiny Willow, and so, so innocent. Luz wonders what happens to her; thinks she’ll probably find out soon enough.

And, yep, eventually witnessing the scene with Amity’s parents isn’t too surprising, but they are worse than Luz had feared. She looks at them and thinks, well of course this is how she turned out. It’s not an excuse for her behavior, but it gives the blessed context that Luz had known had to have existed. Luz hopes they can be friends like they once were; maybe even better than before, now that Amity seems to be more willing to go against her parents. It’s what they deserve; Willow and Amity should have never been torn apart, but she hopes that with a little time, they’ll grow back even stronger. 

She thinks, optimistically, that it might just work out that way.

---

And then there’s Grom. 

Oh, Grom. 

Amity’s picked for this year’s Grom Queen, and as Luz is quickly informed, this is a very bad thing. Amity genuinely seems shaken up about being the one chosen, and seeing her like that makes Luz sad. Amity’s one of the bravest people she knows- so what in the world could even she not bear to face?

Luz doesn’t think she wants to find out. 

“Who’d want to switch with me?” Amity asks later - herself, really, because she isn’t even considering Luz an option - and not a single thought passes through Luz’s head before she’s volunteering, taking her friend’s place with more conviction than she’s ever had. Because Amity sounds so sad, like she doesn’t believe she has anyone who truly cares about her, and Luz doesn’t want her to go another second believing that lie. 

Of course, it doesn’t quite work out that way. 

In a dizzying turn of events, Amity ends up having to face her fear to protect Luz from Gromtheus, and while guilt pounds at Luz’s chest and tears form in her eyes, she can't bring herself to look away from the dark figure standing in front of her friend.

Its simplicity makes it even more disheartening. 

Unlike the version of her mother it’d plagued her with, this one seems to have nothing to say, and it's immediately clear that no words are necessary; a shield of pain slams down on Amity’s face as soon as she recognizes whoever it’s imitating, and for a moment, all is still..

Then the thing slowly reaches into the pocket of Amity’s dress; pulls out the same note she’d dropped near Luz the day before. As both girls look on, Grom tears the paper in two. Amity clenches her eyes shut, and suddenly Luz finds her breath, unable to watch any longer. Her heart aches. This is a girl who’s grown up with awful parents, who has pressure after pressure piled atop her shoulders until Luz can’t even imagine them all, who was forced to give up her best friend as a child, and yet, her worst fear is being rejected by the person she likes. 

Because whoever it is- they make her happy, and Luz knows that’s what terrifies Amity the most. 

So Luz reaches out; hopes that her company can give Amity even half the fulfillment of who she wants to be spending time with, and-

Their dance is- Luz can’t even begin to describe it. It should’ve been awkward; they’ve never practiced this before, and she’s always been less than graceful in any similar situations. But with Amity, it’s different. In their dance, there’s no difficulty, no missteps, no misunderstandings. 

Grom is destroyed thanks to an awesome combination of plant glyphs and Abomination magic; it explodes into the most gorgeous tree Luz has ever seen, and as the tiaras begin to form on their heads, she grins, scarcely able to believe what just happened. 

“So…. who did you want to ask out?” She asks Amity when it’s all over; more teasing, less prodding. Luz never wants to force her to tell her anything. 

Amity blushes, tossing the other scrap of her note behind them. “Oh, it’s- it’s not important,” she mumbles, caught off guard, and Luz lets it lie. She doesn’t want to scare her off, after all. If Amity ever wants to tell her who’s caught her eye, she will. 

It turns out that after Grometheus is defeated, that’s when the party really begins. 

Everyone heads back to the school, and Luz spends most of the evening attempting to learn the Boiling Isles dances while also teaching her friends some of the few she remembers from the Human Realm - such as the tango and a few steps of the waltz - It's fun! There's good (see: edible) food, disgusting but sugary punch, and Luz even manages to convince Amity to dance with her a few more times, too!

At some point, though, Willow and Gus leave, too tired for more. Luz doesn’t know how she’s got so much energy left, but she knows she’ll crash as soon as she stops moving, so she doesn’t allow herself a second’s rest. She drags Amity about for another hour, and though her friend shows visible signs of flagging, she never complains. 

“Five minutes and then we leave, Mittens,” Emira warns them eventually. She’s got a dull look in her eye; Luz wonders what’s made her so upset. “So say goodbye to your friends. And please don’t argue, okay?”

Surprisingly, Amity doesn’t. Maybe she’s too tired, or maybe she’s also worried about her sister’s apparent - and uncharacteristic - grumpiness. “Five minutes,” she agrees, and then turns to meet Luz’s gaze with a fatigued sigh. 

“Well,” Luz says, “despite the fact that we both fought a horrible creature that preys on our worst fears, tonight actually ended up being pretty fun.”

“I think we got very lucky,” Amity deadpans, raising one eyebrow. 

Luz snickers. “I can’t believe everything ended so well, actually.” She’s still replaying their first (nearly enchanting) dance in her head; all those twists and twirls and dips. Wow. She’d done that. 

Amity sighs once more. “I- I have to thank you again,” she begins, and when Luz opens her mouth, she raises her hand, not yet finished. “I know it didn’t really work out that way, but I appreciate that you tried to save me from facing my fear. I don’t think anyone else would have done that for me, and that means more to me than you know.”

“But it didn’t work,” Luz says, frowning softly. “You still had to fight Grometheus, all because I wasn’t sure what my own fear even was.”

“But that's not your fault.” She shakes her head frustratedly. “Just - listen - I don't have a lot of friends, okay? Not real ones, at least. And Titan knows Boscha would have never even thought about taking my place as Grom Queen.”

“You’re one of my best friends, Amity.” Luz says honestly, stepping closer. “And like I said: friends watch out for each other. They protect each other.”

“You’re my best friend, too.” And she’s serious, here- there’s a soft light in Amity’s eyes, and her expression holds nothing but the truth. “So.. thank you.”

Slowly, Luz grins back. She chuckles, slings an arm around Amity’s neck and stumbles a few feet forward, if only to hear the other girl’s startled yelp. “Awww, I love you, too! Wow- can you imagine you wanted to dissect me when we first met?” She feels rather than sees the way Amity’s cheeks turn pink at the memory; the witchling ducks her head best she can, barely able to keep up with Luz’s random strides.

 “We don’t need to talk about that,” she mumbles, practically smothered into Luz’s shoulder. “It feels so long ago.” 

They’re near the exit, now, having drifted there on autopilot. Luz spots Eda loitering by the door, and judging by the look in her eyes, the witch is ready to go home. Apparently, the novelty of being a chaperone wears off quickly. Luz sighs happily; she sees King nearby, trying to sneak into the punch bowl. Yeah, no. “Well, I think it’s bedtime for you, Mister.” She says, darting over to grab his paw and starting to tug him away from the punch. He grumbles, but she ignores him, meeting Amity’s eyes once more. “So… see you around?”

This time, Amity smiles. “Yeah, Luz,” she sighs fondly, shaking her head. “I’ll see you.”

---

Grom changes a lot of things, and while Luz doesn’t realize all of those changes immediately, she does notice the difference in the air of the school, like everyone in it had simultaneously let out a deep breath. 

She’s pleasantly surprised when Amity greets her in the hallway of their next school day, in full view of other students and anyone else in the nearby vicinity, and when Willow and Gus show up, too, Amity doesn't run and hide. She stays; chats with them all like it's the usual, and maybe it will be. Amity even starts directly speaking up whenever Boscha deems it time to push someone around, which Luz knows is hard for her to do. She knows Willow appreciates it, too, and that Amity now actively defends Willow from her old posse makes it all the better. 

(Amity also acts a little strangely around Luz in the days following Grom, more nervous and jittery than usual, but Luz brushes it off; it’s probably just because Amity hasn’t had any real friends in so long, so she doesn’t know how to act around them anymore.)

But in the wake of losing Amity’s support, Boscha doubles down on them like she never has before. 

She’s always been cruel to Willow especially, but now she never seems to leave Luz’s friend alone. She throws stuff at her when the teachers aren’t looking (not that they’d care either way), she hexes Willow’s shoes so that she can’t stop tripping over herself, she bullies and mocks her relentlessly. 

The only time Boscha does leave them alone is lunch. Luz thinks that’s because Amity’s with them then; having migrated to their little table like it’s where she’s always been. 

It goes like this: Boscha goes too far, and Luz doesn’t think before she’s challenging her to a game of Grudgby. She’s angry, okay? But maybe she should start thinking things through more because training doesn’t go very well and Gus and Willow get mad and Luz really screws up, doesn’t she. Amity tries to cheer her up with a story from her own spots-playing past, which is really sweet of her. The thought of Amity in Boscha’s Captain jacket brings a warmth to Luz’s chest, but all too soon, Boscha’s calling for her, demanding the game she had so foolishly proposed. 

Luz is fully prepared to take the punishment she deserves. 

But somehow, things still work out, and that’s all because of Amity. Because Amity goes to Willow and Gus and- apparently gives them a pep talk? Or some strange equivalent. Either way, it works. 

The game’s back on, all thanks to Amity. 

“Where’s your third?” Boscha then asks with a sneer, daring them to prove her wrong. Worriedly, Luz’s gaze darts to the stands where Gus is sitting, watching them with an anxious look. Clearly, he’s too traumatized by the earlier destruction of his flags to play now. 

Willow seems to be thinking the same thing; she gulps. “Well…”

“Right here!” Amity strides onto the field, a determined skip in her gait. Luz grins. 

Boscha’s eyes widen. “...You just destroyed your social life,” she snarls, curling up her nose. Her gaze is dark; she doesn't want them to know just how much this apparent betrayal is cutting into her.

Amity waits until she’s standing besides Luz; gives her a look that says I’m sure. “Nah,” she says aloud, gaze darting back to the Grudgby captain. “I think I made it better.”

(Luz isn’t ashamed to say that she may have gotten a little choked up.)

Turns out, Grudgby is a lot more fun than it looks, although that might just be because she, Willow and Amity seem to make an amazing team. Maybe it’s just because they're fighting against Boscha, and maybe at some point in the match it becomes less about shoving their win in Boscha’s face and more about team strategy, but Luz has more and more fun as the game goes on.

Amity and Willow are a terrifying duo to stand up against; they haven't been on speaking terms for long, but it seems that years apart hasn't taken away their natural chemistry. Again and again Luz plays support for them while they perform some nameless move and score. Again and again she cheers, grinning wider and wider each time.

(Gus is fantastic, too; Luz could have never asked for a better cheerleader, and she’s been one.)

They lose, but eh. What were they expecting, really, trying to win against the legit team of their school? And Boscha doesn't look very happy about her victory anyways. Seems you really can't please everyone.

Poor Amity hurts her leg near the end of the game, though, and the pain of it seems to affect her more than she lets on, considering how red she gets when Luz picks her up, obviously having jostled the break. Luz spends the entire trip to the Healer’s office apologizing, but Amity assures her it isn’t her fault. 

The healer sets the break and sends Amity away with some special patches attached to her new cast, but Amity quickly informs Luz that, no, the healing isn’t instant, and she’ll probably have to sit out a few days of school. “I'm probably not going to be able to go on the field trip to the Emperor’s Castle, either,” she says, looking put out.

“I’m sorry.” Luz pouts. “I’ll bring you your homework, though, so you won’t fall behind.” 

Amity blinks, red creeping up on her cheeks. “T-Thanks,” she says, slightly stunned. “I appreciate that.”

“Do you need help getting home?”

“Nah. Ed and Em are already on their way. I probably won’t be able to get rid of them until my leg’s better.” Despite her harsh words, there’s a soft light in her eyes. Luz is glad that she seems to be getting along better with her siblings; she knows that they haven’t really gotten along for a long while. 

So she shrugs, backing up a few steps. “See you after school tomorrow, then? I’ll bring the homework.” 

Amity smiles, soft and without a hint of pain. “See you then.”

(Of course, Luz then gets caught up in stealing ancient Healing Relics and being captured, Eda succumbing to her curse and Lilith betraying and then saving them, fighting an Emperor to a stalemate, and then losing her only way back to her mom, so it’s safe to say she gets a little- preoccupied.

But it’s fine! It’s fine. Luz is sure they’ll be able to find another portal soon enough, so really, what’s to worry about? It’s fine.

She’s fine.)

But her first day back at Hexside the attempted Petrification Day doesn’t go smoothly (which, at this point, what is she expecting, really) because while she’s delighted to see her friends again and Amity gives her a (very cute but- EW) fairy pie as a welcome-back present, almost immediately, she and her friends are called to the Principal’s office. 

Odalia Blight demands it. 

Odalia and Alador Blight are an.. Interesting couple, to say the least. 

Amity’s obviously terrified of them, and Luz can’t blame her. She already can’t stand either of them after two minutes, so she can’t even imagine trying to grow up with them. Her own mom doesn’t always make the best decisions, but at least Luz knows she loves her. She’s never done anything to Luz that wasn’t because she wanted to help. 

But Amity’s parents are nothing like her mom. 

When they’re expelled from Hexside and Amity does nothing but watch, it hurts, but it’s also expected. Amity’s come so far since Luz met her, but in the end, her parents are awful, controlling people, and they’ve been controlling Amity for longer than anyone. 

So she gets it. 

And she’s not going to ask Amity to argue with her parents on Luz’s behalf, so when Odalia gives her the Blight Manor’s address, she makes her way there that same day. 

She’s told that if she works a night for the Blights, she’ll be allowed back into Hexside, and so of course there’s no question that she’ll do it. Besides, how much trouble can she get into in one night? Apparently, a lot. Because her job is, apparently, a glorified punching bag. Great. 

Slowly, eventually, the terrors she has to fight begin to wane, and Luz almost dares to wonder if she’s done it. Then Odalia sends out her final creature; The Abomiton 2.0. 

She thinks, nonsensically, Amity’s parents really are trying to kill me, and then there’s no more time for thinking because the Abomiton is leaping forward and she has to use all of her reaction time fighting for her life instead. (And- maybe Luz has been heading this way for a while. She’s always been slightly fascinated with the other girl, she’s just- never thought about it, really. Luz has never been one to have too many friends. So what if one feels just a little bit different?)

But then the moment comes; like, The Moment, and she’s not prepared in any way whatsoever. 

And it goes like this: 

Luz is struggling to find more glyphs on her person as the Abomiton-WHATEVER charges up its stupid ray-lasers or whatever they are, and she's currently trying very hard not to be eliminated - because that sounds horrifically to disastrously painful - and it’s just about to hit her again and probably end the fight right then and there when a familiar voice sounds off from somewhere behind her, and then something hits the Abomiton; it falls to the ground, momentarily beaten. 

“Stay away from my Luz!”  

And, wow, isn’t that a comment to consider, but then she’s - Amity, that’s Amity - leaping forward; shielding Luz with her own body like she doesn’t matter in the slightest, which, hm, they should probably talk about at some point, but when Luz’s vision finally clears and she gets the full image, her brain promptly shuts down. 

Because Amity is there, fire blazing hot in her shaking hands as she holds them up defensively. She holds up that necklace she’s been wearing all day - it’s glowing; why is it glowing? - and promptly crushes it, dropping its remains on the floor like she can’t even be bothered to throw them away. There’s a whole story there, but Luz forgets it immediately with what happens next. 

“Luz,” Amity says, turning her head to look at the human with the light of the fire glittering in her eyes. “Are you okay?” And oh. 

Oh. 

Suddenly, Luz can’t breathe for a different reason; the breath she’d worked so hard in restoring is ripped from her lungs as if it was never there. All the moisture in her mouth seems to evaporate; relocates to her hands, which promptly begin to feel clammy. Because she swears- Amity’s glowing. The cloak she’s wearing is billowing in the air, magenta sparks prick at her fingertips; the light of it lining her face just right to make Luz freeze. She looks beautiful in this moment - not that she isn’t usually, this is just- different - and for a second, Luz stalls. 

Worry flickers in Amity’s gaze, and, in the back of her mind, Luz remembers she should probably respond to her (beautiful) friend. Uh. “Um, uh-huh.” That’s all she can muster, too starstruck to even remember her own name.  

Yeah. So that’s a thing. Maybe it always was? She doesn’t know. Because apparently the universe has decided that she’s not stressed enough yet. 

Everything else goes by in a blur. Amity rebels directly against her (awful, god, they’re awful) parents, and in any other situation, Luz would be cheering audibly, but she can’t seem to focus on anything except the way Amity is pressed against her back protectively, so close, almost too close, and she turns away, feeling her face heat up. 

(“Luz, Willow and Gus are my friends. They’re nice to each other, they listen to each other! They make me think about the kind of person I really want to be!” Luz is so proud of her.)

Some sort of deal is struck between Amity and her parents, and just as the Abomiton is about to crush them, Luz feels a pair of arms wrapping around her shoulders, turning her so she’ll get less of the blow. Amity takes the hit, and only a small grunt makes its way out of her gritted teeth as they collapse to the ground. 

Because it’s the Boiling Isles, the crowd only cheers louder at seeing two teenagers “taken down” by the creature. 

Because of course they do. 

---

“Thanks for the save,” Luz mumbles after she and Amity have cleanly snuck away from the crushing amount of buyers. She meets her eyes shyly, feeling more jittery than usual. “I really needed it.”

Amity smiles, a surprisingly (or maybe not so surprising, anymore) soft expression on her face. “Anytime, Luz,” she says, and it sounds like the truth, like there was never anything else she could say. Irritatingly, Luz feels her face warm, and she hopes it’s not too noticeable. 

“Luz! Amity!” Willow and Gus run up to them, similar-looking cloaks to Amity’s atop their shoulders. “Are you guys okay? That looked like a nasty hit.”

“We were brutally held back!” Gus declares, “otherwise, we would’ve helped a lot more!”

“We’re okay,” Luz says, rubbing the back of her neck. “All thanks to Amity. I would’ve been decimated if she hadn’t shown up when she did.” 

Amity blushes, coughing into her hand. “Any of you would’ve done the same. I was just the only one who happened to escape the guards.” She glances back nervously at her parents, who are still in the corner of the room talking with the investors. “Uh, can we go somewhere else? I’d like to stave off my punishment for as long as I can.”

They start walking towards the exit of the warehouse; Willow sidles up next to Luz, a sly glint in her eye. “So, what exactly did happen?” She asks. “Gus and I were kind of too busy fighting off whoever grabbed us to see the whole thing.”

Luz’s neck burns at the memory. Hm, this may be a problem. “You know,” she says, shrugging, “Amity jumped in at the perfect time, yelled at her parents a bit, and then threatened to destroy their Abomination thing-y if they didn’t let her stay friends with us. Also, we’re un-expelled.” Ten seconds too late, she realizes her smile’s gone a bit goofy, and Willow seems to have noticed. Ah, well. No point in damage control now. “It was very awesome and heroic.”

“That sounds like her.” Willow rolls her eyes. “She's never not been dramatic, even as a kid.”

“H-Hey!” Amity protests from behind them, evidently overhearing. “That's not-”

“Remember the float boat parade?”

Amity shuts her mouth, flushing pink. “Okay,” Gus says, twitching his ears, “I have to hear this story.” Enthusiastically, Luz agrees. 

With a smug grin, Willow begins to tell the tale; Amity nearly tackles her to get her to shut up, but Willow ducks away from the attack, only raising her voice even more. When she’s done with the story (which is really cute), Luz tells an embarrassing one of her own to lessen Amity’s discomfort. Soon enough, they’re all sharing stories of their own experiences, and in the midst of all this beautiful friendship-bonding, Luz almost forgets about her newfound revelation.

Almost. 

Eventually, though, they have to part for the night. Amity goes home with a determined slump to her shoulders, and though Luz worries for her in the confines of that massive house, she believes in Amity’s drive. She won’t let her parents push her around any longer. 

By the time Luz gets back to the Owl House, she’s drooping from exhaustion. She bypasses Lilith and Eda’s questions, gives them both extra-credit stars to make them leave her alone, and immediately slumps down on her sleeping back. Then she hesitates, but finally pulls out the scroll that Eda had - erm - acquired so that she could communicate with her friends out of crystal balls. Problem is, Luz is never less than completely direct, and that’s not going to change anytime soon, so the first thing she texts Willow is a perhaps slightly-too dramatic SO I MAY HAVE A PROBLEM!!!!!

(Side note; since Luz is as accident-prone as she is, maybe she should’ve worded that a little more clearly; she has to spend ten minutes trying to convince Willow that she’s not actively dying for the second time tonight before she can even get to the actual issue: I THINK I HAVE A CRUSH ON AMITY.

Willow is silent for several minutes after she reads that particular message.

When she finally does respond, it’s simple: You ‘THINK’???)

---

Somehow, Luz gets into the habit of walking Amity home from the library on the days the other girl works. She doesn’t know how this starts, but it seems like she blinks and suddenly it’s tradition; it’s odd if she isn’t hurrying to the library at precisely two-oh-five in the afternoon, to stop by Gus or Willow’s house in order to borrow their library card and then be perfectly on time for Amity’s shift to end at two-thirty. Saturdays and Sundays, every week. Rinse and repeat.

AND THIS DOES NOT GET EASIER- Luz hates how nervous she gets around Amity now, but she can’t help it. It’s like she’s been nearsighted the entire time she’s known Amity, but now she sees everything in crystal-clear clarity. 

She starts to notice the difference between Amity’s smiles (Luz is delighted to realize that Amity seems to have one reserved only for her) she notices the way Amity visibly softens whenever she’s reading to the kids (nothing is more precious; Luz swears), and no matter how many times it’s already happened, Amity always seems pleasantly surprised to see Luz when she steps out of the Kid’s Corner, which is a strange combination of sad and also cute, and Luz loves the way her smile widens when their gazes meet. 

As they walk, there’s a usual range of topics they make conversation about. The Good Witch Azura is a common one (Hilarious as it is expected, Amity’s a Hecate stan), but they also often find themselves discussing homework (Amity sometimes helps her brainstorm for glyphs, which is really sweet), and, more recently, the Human Realm. 

“So- your rain is just… wet?” Amity asks on one of such walks, looking bewildered at the very concept. “There’s no downside to it?”

“Nope!” Luz shrugs. “I mean, unless you don’t want to get wet, that is. And sometimes it can get pretty dangerous if there’s a hurricane or a tornado, but those are rare where I’m from. I love the rain!” She prances a few steps ahead and then waits for Amity to catch up, unable to walk normally. “Jumping in the big puddles is the best.” 

Amity hmms thoughtfully. “That just sounds weird.” She gives Luz a sly look. “So, yeah, that tracks.”

Luz gasps dramatically. “Why, Amity Blight, are you implying that I am a strange creature?” She clutches at her heart, halting their progress by skidding to a stop in front of her friend. “I am wounded by this accusation!” 

“Sure, ‘Only Human in the Boiling Isles,’” Amity snarks, tilting her head. “Who was the first to get permission to study multiple tracks simultaneously, despite the fact that you’ve invented an entirely different kind of magic that nobody else even knows.” She crosses her arms playfully. “I could go on.”

(And wow, Luz kind of wants her to.)

Fighting against that thought, however, she laughs; steps back out of Amity’s path as they continue on. “Well, if you ever end up in the Human Realm, don’t expect me to be a prime example of humanity.”

“What do you mean?” 

“I mean- I’m weird here, but there? It’s not that much better.” Luz looks to the ground, frowning softly. “The only difference is that in the Human Realm, it’s not really okay to be weird.” She laughs again, but this time it sounds faker, more hollow. “Let’s just say I’m not the most beloved person at my school.”

“That makes no sense,” Amity says, quietly, as if she understands how deeply this cuts into Luz. “I would’ve expected someone like you to be extremely popular- you’re not like Boscha, of course, but-” she shakes her head. “You’re such a genuine person, Luz. Why do you think almost everyone you meet here ends up lov- er, liking you?” 

To her horror, Luz finds herself tearing up at the sentiment. Furiously, she pushes them down. She will not cry in front of Amity. “Thanks,” she says, and if it comes out in a ragged whisper, well, Amity’s kind enough not to point it out. 

Then Luz looks up, and she’s greeted with the imposing silhouette of Blight Manor looming over her. She suppresses a shudder when they step into its shadow; she can’t believe how Amity’s lived here her whole life. 

“We’re here,” Amity says unnecessarily. Luz nods, irritated at how the mood had dropped so suddenly.

“Yeah.”

The witchling shifts on her feet, looking just as awkward as Luz feels. “Thanks for walking me home,” she says finally, “It’s.. nice, looking forward to these walks every time I’m done at the library.”

Luz blinks. “I like them, too.” She can feel her usual cheer returning to her; that’s Luz, slow to frustrate, quick to recharge. Or maybe Amity’s just good at making her happy. “See you tomorrow at school,” she says, offering an only slightly shaky grin. “We have Abominations tomorrow, so you should probably bring an extra uniform- mine have been known to explode.” She frowns. “Or, you know, you could just sit somewhere else. You don’t have to sit next to me, and I probably shouldn't have assumed so, sorry-” 

Something in Amity’s face softens; she ducks her head to hide her smile, and Luz’s embarrassment is worth it just for that. “I’ll remember that, thanks,” she says, and then, coloring slightly, “of course I’m going to sit next to you.”

For a moment, they’re both quiet. Then Luz snaps back into existence, and, panicking slightly, she yelps, “okay, awesome! Glad we got that figured out!” She starts backing up and almost falls backwards down the steps, catching herself just in time. “Bye!”

“Bye, Luz.” Amity steps into the house (Manor??) and gives her one last smile before closing the door behind her. 

(GAH. She’s so cute- Luz is going to die.)

---

Eda’s no help in these types of situations; whenever Luz tries to ask her advice, she only ever says something like “keep em wanting, kid!” Or “it’s all about confidence! At the height of my time in school, I had about twenty suitors at once!” So, while interesting, again. Not very helpful. And it’s not like Luz is going to ask King or Lilith - or god forbid Hooty - so there’s very few options left available for her. 

One: keep everything she wants to say inside her heart. Immediately that doesn’t work; Luz is a very talkative gal, she knows, and now that she’s realized what she feels for Amity, the thoughts are bubbling up in her chest, aching to spill over. She wants to talk to someone about Amity; she wants to gush and rant and vent like any other teenager with a crush. 

Option number two: record herself on her phone, maybe even in a faux-conversation to her mother. That could work, except her mom wouldn’t be able to respond (maybe ever; no, don’t think about that), and Luz knows she’d get bored with that method very easily. 

And then there’s option three: talk to Willow about it. Technically Gus is always an option, too, but talking with him would be weirder because he’s younger than her and probably still thinks romantic relationships are gross and cootie-filled and, yeah. She loves Gus, but no. On the other hand, though, she does really need to stop bothering Willow about her feelings. Her friend is not just a glorified (couples?) therapist, and Luz needs to stop treating her as such!

…..As soon as she gets her advice one more time. 

Luz knocks on the door of the Park residence, and after a moment, Willow’s Papa opens it. “Oh, hello there, Luz.” He smiles widely, stepping to the side and opening the door even wider. “Are you here to see Willow? She’s up in her room if you want to head there.”

“Thank you, Mr. Park!” Luz skips past him. She’s been in the Park household enough now to know exactly where she’s going; climbing the stairs and navigating to Willow’s room without a single misstep. She knocks on the door, says, “HELLO I’M HERE,” and then pulls it all the way open.

Willow blinks, obviously surprised to see her. “Luz!” She recovers quickly, though, giving Luz a tight hug. “You didn’t tell me you’d be coming over?” But when Luz doesn’t immediately respond, she pulls back, giving the human a probing look. “...Why do I get the feeling you’re not here to hang out with my plants?”

“What do you mean?” Luz croaks weakly. “I love hanging out with your- erm-” she gives a quick glance to one of the more tooth-y ones. “Your Mercury Fairy-Trap.” 

“Out with it, Luz.” Willow crosses her arms, leaning backwards and propping herself up on her bed. “I know that look. I’m sure you’ve got a lot to say.”

Luz does. 

---

“-It’s just- she’s so sweet now, and I can’t believe she’s the same person who tried to dissect me when we first met, can you? And I know I shouldn’t push, because she’s barely had any real friends, but-” Luz takes a deep breath. “I want to, y’know?” 

“I get that, Luz, but..” Willow sighs when she’s done, sitting up. “...Have you considered just telling her?”

Luz scrunches up her face, panic seizing her heart at the very idea. “Are you crazy?!” She yelps. “I can’t do that!”

“Oh, god, now there’s two of them.” Willow groans into her hands.

“What?” 

“...Nothing.”

Huh. Well, ignoring that, Luz powers on. “Okay, I get why that's what you're saying- it’s probably what I’d be saying if I was in your position! But you don’t understand!” 

“What, Luz,” Willow asks, “what am I not understanding?” 

“She’s just so cool!” Luz waves her hands around, unable to truly convey her thoughts. “She’s like- like- Azura level of cool-ness! Or even Hecate - actually, I’m gonna think about that later -  she’s too cool for me, Willow!”

Slowly, Willow heaves a sigh, something like awful realization flashing across her features. “One: you think the girl who tried to put a fire out by blowing on it is cool, okay. Whatever. Two: why am I not surprised you like the same dorky book series she does?” She shakes her head, but is unable to hide her smile. “You’re hopeless.” 

Luz nods agreeably. “I KNOW! That’s the entire problem!

---

A stilting, awkward week goes by. Thankfully, Luz’s disastrous-ness is slightly toned down whenever Gus and Willow are there to act as a buffer, but not as much as she would like. She consistently makes a fool of herself in front of Amity, but thankfully, the other girl seems none the wiser. Luz wonders if that’s just because Amity thinks she acts stupidly all the time, but the thought hurts. 

Maybe Amity’s just oblivious. 

But it eventually gets to the point that even Gus seems to figure it out, which is no help to Luz at all. 

Too quickly, (although having Lilith and Eda’s mother show up and cause chaos probably made the week go faster) it’s Saturday again, and Luz is hurrying to Gus’ house for two reasons this time, a little earlier than usual. Of course she’s planning on meeting Amity at the library like usual, but thanks to Gwendolyn Clawthorne, she now knows that a human had left a book at the library- she has to find it. 

It could be her only way home. 

In the end, she arrives at the library Gus-less (he’d gotten sidetracked with some cool Glandus kids; she’s positive he’ll be popular within the hour) and spends the next half-hour researching the supposed human that Gwendolyn had heard about. Turns out, he’s not a myth. And while his diary seems to be in the realms of slightly-unreachable, Luz does happen to have a friend who might be able to grant her access. 

Plus, that particular friend’s reading session has got to be wrapping up anyways, so Luz heads towards the Kid’s Corner. 

(Amity interacting with the children she reads to is precious. Amity with her hair down is gorgeous. Luz is very much not prepared to be assaulted by both of those things happening at the same time.

...She needs a minute.)

Through the Blight twins shenanigans and the utter crush-ness of Amity Blight, Luz barely manages to stay on track, but this is important. 

She shows Amity the book, and though it seems to only be accessible in a very non-accessible section of the library, Amity is an amazing (witch?) being, and she immediately agrees to let Luz into the Forbidden Stacks. They’re as quiet as possible while sneaking around, and though there’s a few scares, for a while Luz starts to think that they’ll be okay; that they’ll really be able to do it.

(Not for the first time, Luz thinks about the possibility of Amity in the Human Realm. Walking through the park, or the non-boiling rain, maybe, with Luz right by her side. The thought fills her with warmth. 

Amity seems to like the idea, too.)

When Luz messes up and they’re caught and Amity is fired, she immediately knows this isn't something that Amity’s just going to brush off. And it’s not something she should brush off; Luz knows how much the library means to Amity, how highly she values her little hideout and the tall, safe bookshelves. 

Luz understands. 

…..But she doesn’t expect Amity to say that. 

“Everything’s changed since you came here,” Amity whispers, staring at the ground with dull, golden eyes. “Being around you- it makes me do stupid things, and I wish it didn’t.”

And, oh, Luz is such an idiot. And this is what she deserves- idiots do stupid things, get involved in stupid fiascos, and she makes Amity go along with them. She’s not a good friend; a good one wouldn’t get their friend into trouble so many times. A good one wouldn’t get their friend fired. 

A good one wouldn’t just stand here stupidly, unable to speak. A good one would be able to say something, anything, but the only thing that leaves Luz’s mouth is a stifled sob, and then, “That’s o-okay, I d-do stupid things around you t-too, Amity.”

Amity leaves. 

That’s okay. 

But Luz isn’t about to leave it at that. So her maybe-more friend probably never wants to talk to her again. That’s okay. But Amity had loved her job at the library fiercely, as quiet as she loved anything else, and Luz would rather face Belos and the Golden Guard and Kikimora all at the same time than turn away now. 

A-Alright, Noceda, she thinks determinedly, wiping away her tears and marching right back into the library. You go in there, find the Master Librarian, and tell him you’ll do anything to get Amity’s job back. And then you do whatever he says, understand? No more screw-ups. 

...And then you hope she forgives you.

---

The trials Malphus puts her through aren’t particularly taxing (not when compared to the Bat Queen’s, at least) but they do take longer than Luz would’ve hoped for. They’re mostly just redundant; odd jobs Malphus couldn’t be bothered to do on his own, although there are quite a few of the deadly variety as well. Still, the end justifies the means, and by the time Luz can finally hold Amity’s staff card in her hands, all she can feel is relief. 

“Perhaps, like, I was a bit too harsh on the girl,” Malphus admits when he gives it to her, rubbing his head. “It’s just- you think you know somebody…”

Luz frowns at him, clutching Amity’s card even tighter in her hand. She’s decided, over these many trials, that she’s not a fan of the witch (demon??) who runs the library and if she wasn’t so worried he’d change his mind about giving Amity’s job back, she’d tell him exactly what she thinks of him. 

But since she’s trying to act less stupidly, she holds her tongue. Instead, she just gives a small smile, says, “thank you!” And then leaves. No point in stirring up unnecessary trouble. 

Besides, she has a more concerning task to go through with. 

Will Amity forgive her, even if she got her job back? Luz doesn’t know. She doesn’t even know if she deserves to be forgiven. After all, the only thing she’s ever done for Amity is get her into trouble. She’s always been told she’s an awful influence, but that it’s true stings deeper every day. 

It’s okay if Amity doesn’t forgive her. 

But she got her job back anyway. That way, Amity can be happy even if it’s not with Luz. 

---

Luz maybe stands on Blight Manor’s doorstep for a few minutes before she finally works up the courage to knock. 

Her stomach gurgles at her; she always gets slightly nauseous whenever she’s this distressed. But she pushes the awful feeling down, determined to see this through. Whatever happens here, she’ll accept. She’ll grovel for forgiveness, but won’t demand it. Amity’s spent her entire life being forced to do things, and if she wants to stop being Luz’s friend, she isn’t going to fight her decision. Luz swallows thickly. 

Finally, accepting whatever fate may befall her, she knocks. Hoping it’s Amity who opens the door, she begins her spiel as soon as the creaking sound of it reaches her ears. “I’m sorry about everything! I’d understand if you never want to see me again- uh-” Hesitantly, she blinks open one eye, but what she sees makes her stall, speech forgotten.

Amity’s hair is-

It’s, uh-

…..Hfjkdsglggds, goes her mind. “It’s- different-?” Goes her voice (she’s very proud of how steady she sounds), eyes widening as she takes in The Change over and over again. Her neck burns with now-familiar heat. 

Because Amity’s hair is no longer the same mint-green she’s so used to, and yeah, she’d known it’d been dyed, obviously, but if anything, she’d be expecting Amity’s natural color, the pretty auburn-brown she’d worn as a child. But this is very clearly not her natural color, and yet- 

God, it’s adorable. 

“Oh, yeah.” Amity blinks owlishly, rubbing the back of her neck in a sheepish manner. “Yeah. Mom always liked it green, but. I thought I could use a change.” Luz tries very hard not to notice how her friend’s cheeks are reddening, and instead averts her gaze for a moment. “Uh- how’d you get this back?” She takes her staff card from Luz, meeting her eyes with a pensive look. “And- and what happened to you?” 

So Luz tells her about the trials she’d gone through, but maybe leaves out a few details so as to not cause her friend any guilt. She’s fine! Some of the trials had just been a tad... dangerous. 

Nothing she couldn’t handle, though!

But it seems the day isn’t over yet- the mouse that ate through the human diary is apparently an echo-mouse, and that means she can still glean all of the information that was originally in the diary’s pages. In spurts, apparently, but she’ll take it. And now that she knows the echo-mouse isn’t the direct roadblock in keeping her from her mom, she holds him more gently, less angrily. 

“Thank you, little mouse. I hope you and I can become good friends.” She leans down and nuzzles his nose; he chirps back, tilting his head cutely. 

There’s a moment, then, where it feels like the universe is holding its breath. Wind rustles through the trees, the sun continues its slow descent through the sky, and Luz wonders how she’ll ever be able to fully leave this place.

“Don’t worry,” Amity says after a moment, gaze softening. “You always have a way of sneaking into people’s hearts.”

And, oh, that’s such a sweet thing for her to say, and then Amity’s leaning closer, leaning in, and Luz has exactly one second to think what’s she doing? Before-

Before- 

SDJGFLKDGGHDGDGDKDLDSGDGDF, Luz’s brain screams. 

---

Who knows how long she sits outside Blight Manor, too stunned to even move.

Luz doesn’t even remember the walk back to the Owl House. She’s sure she talks to King and Eda at some point, probably Hooty, too, and she knows she puts the Echo Mouse in a safe little box where he can’t run away, but most of everything’s else is a blur. Her mind is just on a constant loop of she kissed me she kissed me she kissed me OH MY GOD. 

When Luz wakes up the next day for school, she’s still kind of freaking out. 

What does that mean? She doesn’t think Amity’s the type to go around kissing just anyone, but what if she is? What if the kiss means absolutely nothing? Luz would be okay with that; a little disappointed, maybe, but at least she’d know. 

...What if it does mean something? 

Heat pools in her cheeks at the thought. Her entire body feels numb, but warm at the same time. Memories are flooding back; Amity acting oddly- flustered, almost, around her in the days following Grom. Amity turning red and sputtering when Luz picked her up after the Grudgby game. Amity kissing her cheek, saying things Luz has never heard from a platonic friend in any of her fanfictions. 

Luz sighs, already feeling the beginnings of a headache start to form in the back of her neck. 

She needs to talk to Amity. She doesn’t want to talk to Amity…. She has to talk to Amity. And it’s not like she can avoid her- It’s Monday! And because it’s Monday, that means Luz has Abominations today! With Amity, because Amity has practically nothing but Abomination classes. Because of course she does. 

Dizzy, Luz thinks she needs an expert. 

“Eda,” she says, once she’s gotten downstairs and dressed; Eda looks up from whatever monstrosity she’s trying to stir into their battered pot, and her brow furrows. Clearly, Luz just radiates stress right now. Eda can tell from a single look. 

“What’s up, kid? You okay?”

“I… need your advice.”

---

You see, pep talks with Eda will always go one of two ways. 

One: Luz leaves the conversation more confused than she’d begun it, head spinning with witch-y euphemisms and wondering if Eda really has done everything she says she’s done. 

Or two: Eda somehow manages to string together a few coherent comforts (always preaching confidence, always) and sets Luz upon her path with a self-assured and positive attitude. By some stroke of luck, this one seems to have ended with option two. Luz feels much more confident after her talk with Eda, and so she makes her way to Hexside with a determined stride. She’s not going to shy away, and she’s certainly not going to hide. Amity is her friend, and friends talk no matter how nervous and flustered they might make each other! Yeah. Yeah!

She’s determined to be brave right up until she takes three steps into school, spots Amity’s (purple) head from across the hallway, and then immediately panics, darting behind another row of lockers in order to stay out of sight. 

Great job, Luz, she thinks irritably, but doesn’t move besides peeking around the corner. 

Amity’s greeting Willow and Gus (at Luz’s locker, great), and it seems like her new hair is going over well with the two of them. Luz strains her ears to hear what they’re saying. “Oh, Amity.” Willow’s voice is rough, and Luz can’t see the best from her distance, but she thinks she spots something like a glimmer of pride in her friend’s eyes. “Purple looks great on you.” 

Amity smiles at the compliment, shy and happy, and Luz’s heart goes ba-thump, ba-thump, ba-thump. “Thanks,” she replies, scratching the back of her neck in the same way she’d done last time Luz saw her, a nervous tick. “I- I never was too attached to the green, so..”

“I concur!” Gus nods seriously. “There’s no reason to be a carbon-copy of your siblings; that’s their job.”

A beat.

“..Yeah, that’s kind of true, actually.” 

“How’d your parents take it?” Willow asks, frowning. Luz had worried about that, too - when she’d stopped panicking enough to think coherently - while Amity had never flat-out told her she was forced to dye her hair green, context cues certainly point to that being the truth. Which is just. Gross. 

Amity shrugs. “Mom reacted loudly; Dad barely even noticed.” There’s a new gleam in her eye; like the confidence she’d had when she hung around Boscha, but more real, less forced. “It doesn’t matter. They can’t force me to change it.” She doesn’t say not anymore, but Luz hears it anyway. 

(Has she mentioned how proud of Amity she is?)

Well, they don’t seem to be moving away from her locker. Which makes sense, because they always wait for Luz at her locker but just for once, maybe, they couldn’t have broken that tradition?! Luz takes a deep breath; she knows she’ll have to face Amity eventually. So without any further ado, she grits her teeth, coming out from behind the locker and beginning to stride down the hallway towards her friends. 

“H-Hey, Amity,” she greets nervously, holding her books tight to her chest. 

“Luz!” Amity reddens, but makes a conscious effort to keep eye contact. “Hi- how are you? Did the- uh, the echo-mouse give you any more information?”

She shakes her head. “Not yet! But, uh- Eda said that it might take its time with that.” Eda also said that she should ‘woo Amity with her cool new invisibility glyph and then sweep her off her feet,’ but she doesn’t really plan on telling Amity that part. Too late, she realizes that she’s completely forgotten about her two other friends, who are standing right there, watching her flail.

“Good morning,” Willow says, raising an inquisitive eyebrow. “A bit frazzled today, are we?” 

“NO I’M NOT!” Luz and Amity say simultaneously, which, yeah, doesn’t really help matters. The heat is burning hotter on Luz’s neck than it ever has, and she can see that Amity isn’t faring much better; the poor girl’s face is turning redder with every second. 

Willow’s other eyebrow joins the first. “....Uh-huh.” 

“Oh, wait,” Gus begins tactlessly, glancing between the two of them with an excited gleam in his eye. “Did you two-” Before he can finish, Willow’s elbow connects with his ribs, and he sinks to the ground with a wheeze. “Nevermind,” he gasps from the floor, “my mistake.”

“We’ve done NOTHING,” Luz blusters, panicking slightly. “I mean- not nothing: we went through the forbidden section in the library and found an echo-mouse who ate a bunch of pages from this human dude’s diary, and then Amity lost her job because we got caught but! I got it back for her AND THEN I WENT HOME.” She’s blushing something awful, she knows she is, but maybe if she packs up to go live in denial then nobody will notice. 

Gus picks himself back up, eyeing Willow warily. “I stopped a couple of Glandus kids from grave-robbing and then maybe made friends with Mattholomule?” He doesn’t sound too sure, but he just shrugs. “I guess we all had an eventful Sunday.”

Willow blinks. “I slept until my arm healed,” she says, and then brightens. “Ah, well. You all have got to tell me everything I missed at lunch, okay? No leaving out any details.” She levels a look at Luz, who flusters even more under her probing gaze.

“Of course!” Amity says, grinning weakly. “We’d never leave anything out, because there’s nothing to leave out. Right, Luz?”

Luz snaps to attention. “Right!” 

“Riiiight,” Willow says, shaking her head wearily. She opens her mouth, clearly unfinished, but then the first lucky thing in Luz’s day happens; the bell starts to scream, making them all jump. 

“WELL,” Luz yelps, “looks like we’ve got to get to class! Can’t be late, after all- happy teachers, happy life, right? So see you at lunch!” She begins to power-walk away. She hears Willow huffs behind her, but mercifully, her friend doesn’t say anything further. 

Luz gets approximately five steps away with relief growing in her heart before she remembers where she’s supposed to be going… Ah, she thinks dimly. 

Because, ah, she’d forgotten which class she’s got first, which is Abominations. Familiar footsteps sound behind her, because of course Amity’s going to the same place she is. Luz fumbles; she nearly trips trying to figure whether it’d be more embarrassing to slow down and wait for Amity or not, but manages to stay on her feet, ultimately deciding not to. 

So she gets to class and sits down in her usual seat; Amity sits down next to her about ten seconds later. 

They don’t speak. 

Luz sets up her books on the desk and winces with every noise they make; she swears they’re louder than ever before. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees that Amity’s doing the same thing. Once they’re both ready for the upcoming class, though, there’s nothing else to do without making it clear Luz is avoiding her, so she just sits there in silence. 

It’s baad. 

But neither of them break the silence. The five minutes before the professor enters the room seem to drag by, but Luz spends the entirety of it studying her own hand, the desk beneath it, everything, anything, other than Amity. 

Once the professor begins teaching, it doesn’t get much better. She’s still acutely aware of the girl sitting beside her, but she tries to relax. 

Luz lets her guard down, though; drops her arm off the desk in a genuinely innocuous (and not thought-through) move that knocks her hand against Amity’s. Their fingers brush accidentally, suddenly; Luz spots a hint of red growing on Amity’s ears, but the rest of the other girl’s face is hidden behind her - PURPLE; she’s never going to be over it - hair. She can feel a blush creeping up her own face, too, but she remembers what Eda always says- have confidence! 

Luz wants to hold her hand. 

So she does. 

Swallowing thickly, She takes a leap of faith and reaches out again; commits to the touch this time, tapping against the back of Amity’s hand and then not pulling away, a pressure too constant to be interpreted as anything but but entirely on-purpose. 

Amity makes a quiet sound; a small intake of breath. Luz doesn’t dare look at her, instead keeping her eyes firmly on the board up in the front of the classroom, even if she’s not taking in any information. 

The heat is prickling at her cheeks again, but this time, she pushes down the embarrassment. 

She will not chicken out of this. 

And it feels like it takes years, but surely; slowly, slowly, Amity’s hand curls around hers. Luz bites her lip to hide the grin that would have surely swallowed her entire face, still too scared to even glance in Amity’s direction. That’s okay. She doesn’t have to look at her to hold her hand, and besides, Luz just knows she’s not going to learn anything today. Despite it being one of her favorite classes, she doesn’t retain anything the Abominations teacher says during the entire hour. Not a single word sticks, and not one sentence makes its way through both of her ears.  

Because throughout the entire lecture, neither Luz or Amity lets go. 

Now, things are different. Luz has been feeling the tension between them ever since Amity saved her from the Abomiton, maybe even before that, but now it’s shifted sideways, spinning her upside down with butterflies and sending the now-familiar glow in her chest to even higher levels of warmth. Her jaw aches with how much she’s smiling, but god, it’s so worth it. 

And maybe her struggles in this world aren’t over; she has no idea what she’s going to do when she does find another portal. Will her mother let her visit the Boiling Isles ever again? Why does Belos want to enter the Human Realm? Will she always be torn between both Realms? She doesn’t want to be. She just wants to exist here with Eda and King and Willow and Gus and Amity but also with her mom, too, and she doesn’t know if life will be kind to her in that regard. 

But all that fear washes away when she’s with Amity, whose frown is now more rare than her smile, and whose laugh sends bubbles of joy tingling down Luz’s spine. There’s something there, too exhilarating to think about for too long, but it’s new and exciting and warm- god, so warm. 

And now there’s the memory of Amity, looking at her with the softest expression she’s ever seen on the witchling, leaning in and kissing her on the cheek. 

That’s the newest part, because Luz has never had a crush on a friend before, but also-

...Now it almost feels requited. 

(Gah. She sure hopes so, anyway.)