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Snipet: Claret
Tara
wilowisp
"Dad," Maia asked, her head resting in her father's lap, the warmth of the fire making the soles of her feet just shy of too hot. "How come you don't go with Papa to his circle?" She had wanted to ask the question for some time now. Tonight seemed the best night, with the winter moon clear through the windows, and her father's mood languid.

"Because someone has to watch over you, my little owl," her father replied, and planted a kiss on her forehead. He smelled like the red wine he was drinking. He was always affectionate, but when he had a glass or two, Maia knew he was a little more free with his answers, a little less likely to over-protect his darling daughter from grown-up things.

"You could get a babysitter," she pushed back, her eyes still dreamily staring up at the fire-lit shadows as they played across the ceiling. "Grandma comes and watches me when you both go out to other places. She could watch me and you could go to circle with Papa."

An enigmatic look crossed her father's face - another tendency when the wine was poured, she had noticed. "I suppose we could at that," he answered in that way that was no answer. It always stoked her ire.

"So why don't you?" she asked, rolling her eyes back to try to catch his distant gaze. When he didn't answer, she prodded him more. "Dad, why don't you?"

Finally, he took a deep breath in, and another drink from his glass. His fingers began to move through her hair, unthinking - unconsciously, he seemed determine to untangle every knot she would ever encounter, which was a most impossible task. "I don't quite fit in with his circle, my love," he said lowly, eyes distant and reflecting the brightest parts of the fire. "Papa and daddy are two very different types of witches."

Maia had heard phrases like that before, spoken around her and above her and beneath her, but no one had ever said it to her before. "What does that mean?" she dared to ask.

"Your father is a white witch, little owl," he told her, as if that was to mean something to her. "While I am a little more... unaffiliated. We do things differently, and one of those differences is your father's circle."

"But you still love each other, right?" she asked, unsure of what prompted the question. He responded by swiftly placing his glass on the table, and scooping her up into his arms.

"To the very edge of space and time," he said with a grin, rubbing his nose against hers. "Only surpassed by our love for you." She giggled quietly, and wrapped her arms around his neck. Lulled by the fire, she rested her head on his shoulder, and they both gazed into the fire. It seemed like the right time to ask the real question.

"Dad, will you teach me how to do a spell?" she all but whispered. Usually, she was told that she was too young, that magic would come to her when the time was right, that all things had their season. She knew her father well enough to know that tonight might be a night to call things out of season.

After a pause that lasted far too long for her comfort, he picked his wine glass up again. "Let me show you what you can do with a glass of Claret, my little owl. A little divination, a little foretelling." He hugged her tight and then set her on her feet. "Just don't tell your father," he swore her to secrecy.

And that was the night Maia learned a spell of red wine and the full winter moon. She didn't keep the secret forever, but by the time it was shared, there were much bigger concerns that her fathers had.

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