Written by Rose MorningMist
Raven stood in front of her closet, completely baffled at what to wear. There was just so much to choose from! Mini-skirts, books, flats, heels, jeans, tank tops… She could go on. It was no use – she needed help.
Unfortunately, Sarah was off working on her latest report and Sophie was out preparing for the next season.
Maybe Rose can help, she thought.
I’ve always wondered why the Tearoom never sold smoothies before 11am in the morning.
It was quite sad really. I had to order an orange juice to go with my acorn pancakes.
Izzy sat across from me, sipping her hot chocolate.
“So,” I said, “Do you accept the mission?”
“Of course.” She replied.
“Excellent. You’ll have to start preparations this afternoon, I’d like you to start first thing tomorrow.”
Hey, Rose. I need your help. It’s an emergency. Class F.
Raven’s Whisper Message sounded panicked. “What is it?” Asked Izzy.
“Raven. She just shot me a WM.” I relayed what she had said.
“What’s Class F?” She asked, looking puzzled.
“No idea,” I said, starting to worry. “I better go see if she’s ok…”
Rose busted down Raven’s door eleven minutes later – quite literally. She didn’t bother knocking, just kicked it open.
“What’s the emergency?!” She exclaimed, sounding slightly breathless. Raven rushed down the staircase in her dressing gown.
“I can’t decide what to wear!” She exclaimed.
Rose looked dumbfounded. “Seriously? I came here, in the middle of my breakfast, for that?!”
“Class F,” Said Raven. “F for fashion? What did you think was happening?”
Rose face palmed, sighing. “Raven, you don’t use the word emergency unless it’s actually an emergency!”
Sometimes, Raven forgot Rose ran a secret organisation, and took some things a little more seriously. Things like the word emergency.
“Fine.” She said, putting her hands on her hips. “But now that you’re here…” A sly grin crept onto her face. Rose sighed again.
“Fine.” She said, mimicking Raven’s tone – whether it was intentional or not, she didn’t know.
“Yay!” Raven grinned, and grabbed Rose by the hand, pulling her upstairs.
I did my best to keep up with Raven as she dragged me upstairs. Once up the flight of stairs, she let go of my hand and threw open the doors to her colossal walk-in closet.
“Okay,” She said, “I have a party in -” She checked her clock “- ten minutes.”
I stared at the interior of the closet, astounded. “Did you expand?” I asked.
Raven looked confused. “No? Oh – this old thing?” She gestured to the room. “This is my travel wardrobe! This closet is holding the overflow from my main closet.”
“It just seems…” I struggled for words. “Bigger,” I said, “And with more outfits.”
How in Neverland does she afford all this stuff? I wondered.
“Well, what d’you expect? I just went shopping!”
I rolled my eyes. “So what kind of party is it?” I asked.
“Water party!” She said, using jazz hands. “Or pool party. Whichever you prefer.”
“Ok then…” I said.
“So I’ll need a swimsuit…” She went on. “Two-piece, one-piece, tankini, shorts, or skirt?” She began to pull different swimmers off the racks. “Catch!” She said, throwing them at me.
It wasn’t long before I had a massive pile of swimwear in my arms. I didn’t even know there had been so many fashion lines for swimmers. Finally, Raven stopped putting items into my arms and started pulling them out of them.
“Hate these…” She said, tossing a green two-piece onto the ground, “Those are gross,” She added, throwing a fluorescent orange bikini set over her shoulder. “I wore those last water party… Ooh!” She picked up a floral one-piece off the ground, holding it up against her. “What do you think?”
Raven admired the swimsuit for a few more moments, determining whether it would still fit her.
“Uh, Raven…” Said Rose, “I can’t move! You’re swimsuit collection is crushing me!”
Tearing her eyes away from the adorable swimsuit, she noticed Rose was practically being eaten by her wardrobe.
“Oh,” She said, laughing sheepishly. “Hang on – I’ll save you!”
Without hesitation, she jumped into the pile to save her friend from her clothing.
Raven leaped into the pile of clothes and landed right beside me.
“Ow – Raven, you just landed on my foot!” I exclaimed, a sharp pain building in my right leg.
“Oops – sorry!” Raven said, though it was hard to understand her – her mouth was full of skirt. Raven grabbed my foot and pulled, and I surfaced, gasping for air.
“Why… do all of…. your clothes…. smell like expensive perfume?” I wheezed, my nose itching.
“Uh… Because I wear expensive perfume?” She said. I rolled my eyes and sneezed.
Raven shrieked and fell backwards into the mountain of clothing. “Don’t eat me! It’s Mummy!” She yelled, attempting to untangle herself from the clothing. I sneezed five more times, all in a row. Raven shrieked again. “Save me from the germs, my babies!” She cried, abandoning her struggle and instead wriggling deeper into the pile.
I lay on the floor, struggling to get up from laughing. “Can’t… breathe!” I gasped.
“A little help? I can’t get out!” Raven said, writhing around.
Gulping for air, I finally managed to get up. “Ok…” I said, clutching my stomach. “Ok.” I grabbed Raven’s arm and attempted to pull her free, but only succeeded in falling over and ending up right back where I started.
“Now we’re both stuck!” Complained Raven, still trying to crawl out of her ‘cloth children’.
The perfume scent tickled my nose, and I sneezed again.
Raven screamed and desperately tried to pull herself free from her children and away from Rose – and more importantly, any germs that were coming from her sneezes. She couldn’t afford to get sick – she had three more parties coming up next week! Finally, after much effort and a lot of sneezing on Rose’s account, the two friends managed to pull themselves free.
“Raven…” Said Rose, sneezing for what felt like the thirtieth time in the last eight minutes, “Are there… poppies in your perfume?”
Raven thought for a moment. “Uh… Probably?”
Rose sniffed. “I’m allergic to -” She sneezed again, “- poppies.” She said, wiping her nose.
Raven frowned. “Well, that sucks.” She checked the time. Five minutes! Panicking, she thought for a moment. “Wait!”
Rose looked up. “What?”
Raven grabbed her outfit and a bottle of her perfume, holding it menacingly at Rose. “Lemme go change, or I’ll puff!” She threatened.
“Woah, ok then, hostile Raven,” Said Rose, backing away slowly. Raven did the same. “You don’t want to spray that. Really – you don’t. Last time I had a large reaction to poppies, I accidentally made it rain for a week.”
Feeling like Rose wasn’t going to try anything now, she turned and dashed into her changing room and slipped on her swimmers. She walked back to the doorway of her closet, where Rose was now dusting herself off, and stuck her head around the door.
“Howdy!” She said, posing. Rose laughed. “Oh, yeah… You can go home now, the crisis has been averted.” Said Raven, grabbing a pair of sunglasses. Rose rolled her eyes.
“Unless…” She looked hopefully at Rose. “You want to come to the pool party with me?”
Rose raised her eyebrows, and then sighed. “Well, I suppose because it’s a pool party…”
Raven fist pumped the air and did a little victory dance in the air. “Yay!”
“Alright then.” Said Rose, taking a pinch of dust and throwing it over her. Her purple top and leaf pants materialised into a pair of cute purple swimmers and matching flip-flops. It complemented the blue shell necklace she always wore quite nicely.
“Well, you can pull off wearing swimmers pretty well, I’ll give you that,” She said.
Rose laughed, pulling a pair of sunglasses out her pouch and putting them on. “Raven, complementing my fashion sense? Whatever next?”
Raven chose to ignore the comment. “C’mon, let’s go!” She said, grabbing Rose by the arm and dragging her down the stairs.
The second we arrived at the party, Raven was off – dancing, talking and setting off glitter bombs everywhere she went. I sat down at the edge on the pool, taking off my shoes and dipping my toes in the water. I loved swimming, but it was hard to explain to people how my wings stayed dry. I didn’t want too many questions asked.
Being a Forbidden Child, you could never be too careful.
“Nice doing business with you.” Said Jade, pulling five cookies out of her bag.
Today’s sales had been great so far – she’d already earnt eighty pixie diamonds, and it wasn’t even midday yet. This venue seemed to have the best buyers. Unfortunately, it also seemed to hold some regulars: the pixie from the tree was back again, in her usual spot, reading, the redhead with the crazy fashion sense was in the centre of the party, as she always was, and, Jade realised, the dark haired fairy was back too.
“Uh… None of you guys are the Pixie Police, right?”
“… Sort of.”
Jade watched dark-hair get up and fly over to the tree, her eyes narrowed. She’s have to be careful around that one.
The meadow was filled with the sounds of laughter and splashing. Phoebe sat in her tree, trying to ignore the chatter and focus on her new book. The author had a lot to wrap up in this last chapter…
Phoebe looked up, surprised. There was a fairy perched on the branch next to her. She wore a pair of purple swimmers, no shoes and a pair of sunglasses perched on top of her head.
She’s from the party, Phoebe realised.
“Hi!” She said, closing her book.
The fairy was silent for a moment, her eyes surveying the party. Then she glanced up at Phoebe again.
“So, are you enjoying the party?”
Phoebe shrugged. “I’m just kind of hanging out here.”
“I see.” The fairy shifted her position. “Who invited you along? I mean, I only found out about ten minutes before it started. My friend dragged me along.” She paused. “Literally.”
“I didn’t even know there was going to be a party on,” Phoebe admitted. “I just like this tree.”
The fairy laughed, but not unkindly. “You were at the tea party last week, weren’t you?” She smiled. “You stood up for that fairy.”
Phoebe nodded. “Yeah. For some reason people like to have parties here. There’s at least three of them every week!”
The fairy grinned. “Yeah. Knowing my friend – the one that dragged me here – she’s probably been to all of them.”
Phoebe giggled, setting her book down on the tree next to her. The fairy glanced down at it, her eyes widening.
“Hey, you like to read?” She asked.
“So do I!” She exclaimed.
Phoebe smiled. She had a feeling she and this fairy would get along well.
That fairy was back again. The one who had been trading with my brother.
As I talked to the fairy from the tree, I kept a close eye on her – going from person to person, passing over goods for diamonds.
My new friend and I talked about books for a good fifteen minutes.
“You honestly might think I’m a book-reading talent,” Said the fairy. “I spend more time reading than I do working with animals!”
I chuckled, opening my mouth to speak again, but someone else beat me to it.
I looked up to see cookie-trader hovering in front of us. Not wanting to be unkind, I waved at her.
“Fly with you,” I said, using the old fairy greeting.
“Hi!” Said book-lover, smiling and waving her over.
“I never asked your name!” I said to book-lover, as cookie-trader perched on the other side of the branch and began to count her diamonds. I held out a hand to book-lover. “I’m Rose MorningMist,” I told her.
“I’m Phoebe,” Said book-lover, shaking my hand and smiling. “Phoebe Bumbleflip. ‘I would happily fly with you to the farthest reaches of Never Arbor and to the top of Torth Mountain if you asked,’ is the original saying.”
I glanced over at cookie-trader, waiting for her to supply a name too. “I never caught your name, either,” I said, after a few moments.
Cookie-trader looked up, startled. “…I’m Jade Vanillaflash.” She said carefully, hefting her pouch a little. “Can I ask you a question?”
Raven spotted Rose sitting in the great old oak tree, actually talking to other people, she realised. That was a first. Excusing herself from a particularly boring conversation with a sparrowman named Acorn, she made her way over to her, a fruit punch in her hand.
“Can I ask you a question?” One fairy was saying. She had black hair, almost a deep blue that fell just below her shoulders, a fringe, a mismatched purple outfit and a pouch in her lap. “Are you a Member? Any of you?”
Rose nodded. “Yes. Why?”
Blue-hair scowled. “How long have you been a Member?”
“Is there a party going on without me?” Asked Raven, butting in.
Rose laughed. “Not really.” She said.
Raven grinned. “Move over, I’m sitting down,” She ordered. Rose shifted to make room for her.
“This is Phoebe Bumbleflip and Jade Vanillaflash.” Said Rose as Raven sat down and took a sip of her punch. “Girls, this is the crazy pixie who dragged me here, Raven.”
“I would happily fly with you to the farthest reaches of Never Arbor and to the top of Torth Mountain if you asked, Raven.”
Raven smiled. “Aww, thanks Phoebe!”
“It’s the original saying that ‘fly with you’ came from. Rose used the phrase earlier, which made me think of it,” Said Phoebe.
Rose’s eyes widened. “Really?”
“Cool!” Said Raven, impressed.
“Hello. Are you a Member?” Asked the fairy with blue hair, who Raven now knew was Jade.
“Yes – I’m a Member too!” She piped up, glad to be included in the conversation.
“Same here,” Said Phoebe. “I’m a Member too.”
“I’ve been a Member for about four years,” Said Rose, answering the question Jade had asked as Raven had arrived. “Why?”
Jade sighed, clutching her pouch tighter to her chest. Raven frowned. What was in that bag that was so worth protecting?
Jade sighed. This Rose MorningMist asked too many questions. She clutched her pouch tighter to her chest, feeling uncomfortable.
“Forget I asked anything. But… Um… Were you ever a non-member for a long amount of time?”
Rose frowned. “For a large amount of my life, yeah.” She stared at Jade suspiciously. “Why do you ask?”
More questions. Jade exhaled a little, her cheeks puffing out slightly. This was the hard part. “Well…” She started, “Do you ever think that non-members get treated… Unfairly?”
The newcomer, Raven, snapped her head up, staring at Jade, eyes narrowed. “Not super unfairly.”
“Yes – Non-members don’t get to buy most things, even if they have enough ingredients.” Said Phoebe, crossing her arms.
Rose nodded sincerely. “By the Second Star, yes. I have a sister who is a community fairy. I let her borrow my Membership sometimes, to avoid the divide. The whole membership thing has created more corruption amongst the community fairies…” She trailed off, blushing. “Sorry. I’ll stop now.”
Jade grinned, probably for the first time any of them had seen. “By the Second Star, finally!”
Phoebe looked a little startled. Raven shrugged. Rose raised her eyebrows.
“I’m glad you guys feel the same way…” She continued. “I guess it’s safe for me to tell you what I’ve been doing with all these diamonds and cookies…”
Rose’s eyebrows shot up even further, if that were possible. Phoebe actually put her book down. Raven leaned in, looking eager.
“Tell us!” She prompted, flicking her pony tail over her shoulders.
“Ok, here we go. I’ve been selling…” She leant in closer. “Hyper-dusted cookies. Which aren’t exactly… Legal.”
Phoebe gasped. My eyes widened. “I know what they are,” I said. “By the Second Star…”
Raven frowned, looking confused. “What do they do?” She asked.
“They enhance your magic,” Said Rose. “It’s like getting a dust overdose, without some of the other side effects.”
Jade shrugged. “But anyways, I trade ingredients for these not-really-legal cookies, then I sell them for diamonds to people who really want them, and I get a ton of pixie diamonds without having to use the special currency.”
Raven whistled. “You should be careful – the Never Council keeps a strict watch for wayward fairies!”
“I know!” Exclaimed Jade. “I’m trying to be subtly rebel! My friend also helps me…”
“Wait!” Phoebe said, cutting Jade off. She slid off the branch and landed on the ground, touching a small knot at the base of the tree. “Follow me.”
A fairy-sized hole opened up next to where Phoebe was standing.
“Come in!” She said, beckoning to us.
Jade stared at the door, looking amazed. “Huh? But… How-“
“Come in! It’s a secret hideaway!” Explained Phoebe excitedly. “I found it a few years ago. It looked really old and dusty, like it hadn’t been used in ages, so I did it up a little.”
“Wow.” Said Jade, looking thoroughly impressed.
“Sweet,” I said absent-mindedly. The tree was cool, but I had more pressing matters at that moment. Raven and I exchanged a look.
It was at times like this that I loved the WM system. WM stood for Whisper Message, a way in which fairies could communicate with others privately in public places, and it also was handy for long distance calls.
Yes? Raven was an excellent actor. Her face gave away nothing as she picked up her fruit punch and slid off the tree branch and landed on the ground. I stalled, rummaging in my pouch for some non-existent object.
This isn’t good, I whispered.
I know. Cookie deals is a pretty serious problem. You might have to get the PEF inside.
I hesitated. Yes, but…
Sighing, I pulled a pinch of pixie dust from my pouch and threw it over myself, averting back into my usual clothes.
“You coming?” Asked Phoebe.
Raven frowned. But what? It can be dangerous to do things like that. If the Never council found out, or even worse… She trailed off in mid-sentence.
Later, I whispered to her as I nodded to Phoebe and followed her down a winding staircase into the tree that reminded me a little of a clumsy story Raven and I had read, minus all the moving branches trying to hit you.
I know you don’t trust me.
I had heard Jade’s voice, yet her mouth didn’t move. Frowning, I returned her WM. Why do you think that?
Well…you told me you were a sort of police force. And I’m obviously not doing something legal.
… I said technically. There’s a difference.
I don’t know about that. Please don’t report me.
Jade’s voice cracked at the end of her sentence.
“So, what do you think?” Said Phoebe, as we reached the bottom of the stairwell.
And then my breath was taken away.
It was a large circular room, completed with comfy chairs and a few tables. Rows and rows of books circled the walls.
Raven was curious – how did all these books get down here? What were they about? So many questions crowded her mind as she took in the little hideaway.
“Wow,” Breathed Rose.
“It’s amazing,” Raven agreed.
“It’s got a lot of books,” Said Phoebe, “Even I haven’t finished them all yet.”
“I’m not going to report you,” Rose said suddenly, looking at Jade. “For now.” Raven nodded slightly at her to show she understood.
Jade hesitated. “… Fine.”
Phoebe took a seat on an armchair. “I think it’s okay,” She said. “All you’re doing is trying to make a living.”
Jade nodded appreciatively.
“I have an idea!” Phoebe said suddenly, standing up again. “We could a Pixie Diamond fund, you know, to promote equality between Community fairies and Members!”
Rose raised an eyebrow. “That… actually sounds great. It could work.” She checked her pocket watch. “Jingles, I gotta go.” She looked over at Raven. “Thanks for inviting me, Raven.”
Raven grinned. “Anytime.”
“Perhaps we could meet back here sometime?” Rose asked Phoebe.
Phoebe nodded. “Okay. I’ll send you all a WM when I’m free next.”
“Cool,” Said Rose, “Well… Fly with you later!”
And with one final wave, Raven watched as Rose left the party.