Why Not? Because

Chapter 1

Spring B1 - Meadow

Trope E2 - Timestamp

Stacked With: FPC; BAON; ToS; Star; Fence; Shower; T3; Ship; SpB; TrB; IC&F

Challenges: Old Shoes (Y); Green Acres; Short Jog (Y); Two Cakes (Y); Eating Cake (Y); Lunar Era (Y); Hold the Mayo (Y); Tiny Terror (Y); Small Fry (Y); Disabled (Y); Ethnic & Present (Y); Rian-Russi Inversion (Y); Neurodivergent (Y); Magical MC (x2); Red Lights; Red Wave (Y); Red Dress (Y); Bi Rainbow; Rainbow Rainbow; Happy Birthday

Primary & Secondary Bonus Challenge(s): Mother Hen; Tomorrow's Shade; Delicious Lie; Mouth of Babes; Second Verse (Teat Juice; Persistence Still; Not a Lamp) Chorus (Machismo)

Tertiary & Generic Bonus Challenge(s): T3 (Thimble)

Warnings: None

Word Count: 1482

~o0o~

June 20th, 1985

Cedric stuck his tongue between his teeth as he did the maths homework his mother assigned him. She read nearby in a chair, but glanced up periodically to see if he was having any trouble. He already knew how to do money math, since he started delivering milk and eggs by himself this summer. Now she was setting him on big numbers. He tried not to finish too quickly or she might pick another subject that would eat into his play time.

He finished the last problem and carried the parchment over to her. She peered down at it and hummed to herself as she went over each problem. Cedric bounced on his toes in anticipation.

"Very good, habibi," she said. "You may go play, be back before dark."

"Yes, Mum." He kissed her cheek and hurried off.

He grabbed some food, fruit, a sandwich, and such, and went out to saddle up Daffodil. He fed her one of the apples he got from the kitchen and stood on a step. The sneaky mare tried to fill her lungs with air so the saddle would be too loose, but a quick poke to the ribs took care of that.

Riding was one of his favorite things to do. He liked it as much as flying.

The day was looking to be warmer than usual, he might not even need his jacket. The meadow was lush and flowers seemed to have popped up overnight. Grinning, Cedric urged Daffodil towards a broken down fence. Mum often warned him not to jump Daffodil, but he never listened.

As she always did, Daffodil kicked off and soared over the fence. Cedric laughed joyfully at the weightlessness he felt in midair. Like he could go anywhere, do anything! Her hooves touched back to the earth and she continued on to his hideaway.

It was a treehouse, nestled in the branches of a large tree in the middle of the meadow. It was within view of most of the fields they grazed the sheep in so when he was tasked with herding them, he would have permission to go here for a break.

Daffodil paused where she always did. Easing out of his saddle, Cedric balanced on it then pushed up the trap door of his treehouse. Rather than use the ladder, he hauled himself inside.

"Stay close, Daffodil," he called.

The golden clydesdale knickered and remained in the shade.

Cedric grabbed the comic book he was reading yesterday and picked up from the beginning since he couldn't remember where he left off. He rested his chin in his hand and prepared himself for another day alone. He wished he had some friends. The Weasley twins were around his age, but he never really got on with them and they were usually in too much trouble to go out and play. He could try with Cousin Luna, but she was still so little. Almost three years younger. So any games he tried to play would always end up as a different game entirely.

He was okay on his own. He had his books and his drawings and puzzles, it would just be nice to have a friend to talk about it with aside from his horse or his mum.

Sighing softly, he abandoned his comic and rested his arms on the little window sill to breathe in the fresh air.

Well, that was new.

Someone was walking in the meadow. A girl? She had really long hair, so she must be. All the mums around here made boys cut their hair short. It was wild and bounced with each step. She walked funny, like the one time Cedric was on a boat and the water was choppy, and when he was finally on solid land he couldn't walk in a straight line. She paused once or twice and a flash would appear out of her hands. A witch?

She was coming this way!

Cedric eagerly sat up and wondered when to call out to her.

The girl looked a little younger than him, she wore a red raincoat though it didn't help towards the mud on her feet. She spotted Daffodil and the flash came from her hands again. She dropped a box held on by straps to her chest and grabbed the piece of paper it spat out, shaking it wildly. How odd. Oh… perhaps she was a child from town. That meant he couldn't talk to her. She kept walking towards Daffodil.

Cedric quickly and quietly opened the trap door to see her sliding off her little pink backpack. She withdrew an apple and offered it to Daffodil, flat in her palm, but remained a safe distance away. Daffodil stepped forward and accepted the offering. The girl giggled as the horse lips tickled her palm.

This was his chance to make a friend. Just once, he wanted to talk to someone Dad hadn't approved of first.

"Hello."

She jumped much higher than he thought she would before looking up.

"Hola," she said and flinched like someone would reprimand her for saying that word. "Er… I mean, um… hello."

He rested his chin on his arms and smiled. She seemed nice. "What's your name? I'm Cedric."

"Mimi."

"Are you new here?"

"Just a visit."

What an interesting accent. He'd never heard it before. She also spoke like she was thinking about every word before she said it. He'd never seen this girl before in his life, but he felt as if he should know her.

"Want to come up?" he asked.

She thought a moment, then nodded.

Mimi was odd. She stuttered like mad, she didn't make eye contact, they had halts in conversation when the language barrier got in the way, and every time she got excited she flapped her hands wildly.

Cedric liked her very much.

"I love Wonder Woman because she is very tough," she said, flexing her arms. "Muy ruda—"

She froze and closed her eyes a moment, then sighed like she had just set down a full water pail after a long walk. She opened her eyes and furrowed her brow, looking dazed.

"You seem a bit tired," Cedric noted. She was two years littler than he was. "We should get you home."

"My p-parents are— are prob-prob-probably w-worried."

"I'll walk you there," he said, not eager to say goodbye to his friend just yet.

Daffodil walked behind them as they headed to the edge of town. Mimi dragged her feet and stopped at a house. She hesitated and looked at Cedric, speaking in that halting way.

"Do you wanna p-play tomorrow?" Hermione asked hopefully.

"Sure!" he said excitedly. "Assuming you can, I'll be at my tree house in the afternoon."

"Okay! Bye Cedric," she said and ran up to the house.

"Bye Mimi!" he called after her.

He'd had to really book it to get the sheep and cows home and hurried into the kitchen after putting Daffodil up. Still, he was excited.

His very first friend!

"You're late," said Tavi, the house-elf, not looking up from the pot she was stirring.

"Er, sorry," said Cedric.

"What kept you, lamby?" asked Mum as she chopped up the vegetables for Tavi's dish.

"I made a friend," he said, stretching on his tippy-toes to wash his hands in the sink.

"Oh?"

"Her name is Mimi. She's visiting from out of town."

"Who's her family?"

"Er… one in town," he said.

Mum stilled and looked worried. "A Muggle?"

Cedric dried his hands. "She's nice, Mum. She's not like the kids in town."

"Habibi, it's dangerous… not just for you but for her, too."

"I won't try any magic around her, I promise!" he said, turning to face her. "Mum, please, I've never had a real friend before."

She sighed and cupped his cheeks. "Look me in the eyes."

Cedric did, waiting for her to explain why he could never see Mimi again and for him to reluctantly agree.

"Do not tell her a thing about magic," said Mum. "Nothing. Do not tell your father about her either, because he will say no. He also won't like it if you bring her here, especially if he has creatures from work, so only play at the tree house or the pond. Understand me?"

Cedric nodded and felt a twinge of fear. "Would Muggles hate us so much?"

"Oh, habibi, it's not us who should be scared anymore," she said. "But if your friend finds out, they might erase her memories. Or worse, if she tells someone about the magic, they will think she's mad and try to cure her of that madness. This is to protect your friend, okay?"

"Yes, Mum."

"Then, if you finish your chores and school work, you may keep seeing your friend."

Cedric sighed in relief and hugged her tightly.

"Thanks, Mum!"

"And remember, not a word."

"Yes, Mum."