Mipsy's Charm Bracelet
The mirror is broken again.
At least it's not on fire, this time, although she can hear her parents having a Discussion in shouted whispers downstairs. To them, this is probably not much of an improvement.
Ear to the door, she hears someone coming up the stairs. She races back to her bed and flops down onto it dramatically just as the door opens.
"Mipsy?" her mother says.
"You're not in trouble, sweetheart," Mum says, taking a seat on the bed next to her, "but your dad and I are becoming a little concerned."
"I can't help it!" she bursts out, close to tears. "I don't want to keep breaking things, or zapping frogs in the backyard, or -"
"- I know," her mother says soothingly.
"Dad's really mad, isn't he?" she says in a small voice.
"Of course he isn't! You know we both love you."
Mipsy takes a few deep breaths, trying to calm down as she lets herself believe that. Her mother takes to brushing her fur, a task Mipsy abandoned after the mirror accident.
After she's finished, her mother says, "Why don't we start picking up some of the glass, hm? No reason to hurt yourself later."
Leaving her mother to sweep up the tiniest pieces, Mipsy finds herself distracted with the larger ones. Her reflection in many of them is staggered and multiplied by the spiderwebbed cracks. It scares her, just a little bit. She has nightmares about much scarier things, sometimes. Mud monsters and evil wizards and the like.
She gets sent home from school early, as she does a lot of days. There may or may not have been an incident involving some stray lightning and a particularly unfortunate-looking garden gnome near the playground.
Her mother reads the teacher's note wordlessly as Mipsy drops her backpack and collapses onto the sofa, and then her father reads the note wordlessly, and then they both use a lot of words as they write their own note to the school.
"Hey Mip, there's some cookies if you want any," her father says, poking his head into the living room.
She always wants cookies. "I always want cookies," she says.
Her father laughs, takes her hand as she skips into the kitchen, where her mother is sitting at the small, round table. On the table, there are some coloured glass pieces in different shapes.
She sits down with a cookie almost the size of her entire head. Her dad sets a glass of milk on the table and disappears into the backyard to tend to the vegetable patches.
"I'm gonna walk with you to school tomorrow," her mother says, fiddling with a bit of string.
"Okay," she mumbles around a mouthful of cookie.
"Don't talk with your mouth full!"
She swallows. "Sorry."
"Do you know what these are?" her mother asks. Mipsy shakes her head. "All these little charms are from the mirror. I had a glassworker cut and stain them earlier today."
Securing one of the sun pieces onto the string, Mum holds it up. "Charm bracelet!"
Mipsy blinks. She still doesn't understand why or what the point is, but it's pretty. She eats a few more cookies while she watches her mother work, the glass glinting in the afternoon sunlight filtering through the window.
Two yellow suns, two purple stars, two blue diamonds, and two green moons. She asks her mother why the moons aren't blue. "You drew a picture in kindergarten where the moon was green," her mother replies fondly.
She thinks her kindergarten self was a bit dim.
As the last rays of the sun start setting, her father comes in and washes his hands. Her mother wraps the charm-laden string around Mipsy's wrist and ties it off.
She doesn't set anything on fire the next day, or the day after that. She does the day after that, but she really doesn't like that gnome, okay?
Her teacher sends her home with another note. Her father goes with her to school the next day, and, miraculously, the gnome is nowhere to be seen at recess. In its place, there's a bench.
There's a tiny red Korbat perched on the back of it. She sits down on the opposite end.
"Hi," she says.
"Hi," the Korbat echoes, voice as tiny as its body.
"I'm Mipsy!" she says, making up for the awkwardness with overwhelming cheer. She's in a good mood.
"Rex," the Korbat says.
"Want to be friends?"
She gets Rex into trouble more often than Rex gets her into trouble, but there are a lot more teacher's notes that have nothing to do with 'inappropriate magic use'. Her teacher sits down with her after class one day to discuss how sometimes a bad habit is replaced with a different bad habit, and not necessarily a better one.
Her mother is just overjoyed that Mipsy has a friend to get into trouble with, a friend who doesn't seem to really care that Mipsy sometimes breaks things just by thinking about them.
It happens a lot less often now anyway. She thinks it might be the bracelet. It's not magical itself, sure, but she thinks maybe it helps her with her own magic. Like somehow her parents are in it, tempering most of her more inadvisable urges to shatter stuff with her thoughts.
One day, Rex asks her to.
"It's just an old crate," he says, when she protests.
"But I can't control it," she whines. "It just happens."
"My mum says nothing just happens."
She can hear her own mother, in her head, agreeing with Rex's mother. She picks up the stick she's been using a makeshift wand (her father refuses to get her a real one ('not until you're older, Mip; I don't want you running around crackling with magic all the time'), which is probably fair) and concentrates really, really, really hard.
"Concentrate harder!" Rex says.
Something in her snaps, and in her frustration she shatters the birdbath not ten feet away from them.
Her parents are having another Discussion. She doesn't try to eavesdrop this time. She just curls up in bed, hiding under the covers and sniffling. She needs tissues, but she doesn't want to get up.
"G'way," she says, muffled.
"There's dinner downstairs, sweetheart, when you're hungry," her mother says, and her even tone only makes Mipsy more upset.
She gives up and uses the covers as a tissue.
Her father makes her practice. He moves all of the easily-breakable items out of the backyard and makes sure there are no frogs by the pond first, and then he hands her a box.
A thin silver wand is in it, with a pink stone at the very tip.
"Might be safer than that twig," he says.
A truly ear-splitting squeak emits from Mipsy, and she jumps onto her dad for a hug. She can barely stand still while he lays down some ground rules, but apparently she takes in enough that he thinks she's ready for a whirl.
They start small, but a patch of grass in the very corner of the yard gets decimated. Her father says that's fine, they'll just plant a tree there.
The tree is blooming and producing enough lemons for lemonade all day, every day, when she's finally got the hang of making the occasional bird fly faster and putting a shield up around a kid getting picked on at the playground.
Her teacher doesn't send her home with a note for that one.
Years later, after she moves away and finds herself in a tiny village in Meridell and feeling quite homesick, she unearths the bracelet at the bottom of a trunk full of old belongings.
Even after all this time, it sparkles obnoxiously when it catches any sort of light.
She puts it on. Still a perfect fit.