Life of a Greenwitch

Millie carefully folded her gifts back into a neat bundle, tucked them onto a helpful chair and found the biscuits.

Shaun laughed, “She’s got you figured already love, tea and biscuits and talk will happen.”

Millie blushed, “I just want to make sure I’m helpful.”

Edda put a cup of tea down by Shaun, who was chopping at something in the kitchen area, then brought hers and Millie’s cups to the table.

“I know it will take you a little while to feel fully at home here, Millie, but I think you’re going to fit like a hand in a glove, so make sure you enjoy things while they’re still new. All too soon this will be normal life.”

Millie’s eyes rounded as she thought this through, she didn’t think she could ever see talking ravens and fae for neighbours as everyday.

“Anyway, greenwitch duties.”

Edda took a biscuit and looked at it thoughtfully.

“Our magic can best be described as core green magic. Not Earth magic, that’s rocks and soil and mountains and things, but all the things that grow and live on that earth. So we’re often called to bring our influence to places where that growth and life has been, let’s say, disrupted.”

“I’m occasionally called to major environmental disasters – huge fires, floods, drought, volcanic eruptions. Anything that’s killed or endangered the green in a given place. My job is to understand how badly it’s hurt and what can be done, initially with my magic, and then with the work of others, to bring the balance and health back to that place.”

“That’s the work I do for the Global Council, and they stand guard before the governments and organisations of the world so that the core elemental witches are treated with respect and consideration, and not burned out and made ill by selfish behaviour and poor planning.”

Millie blinked at her vehemence, “Did that happen?”

“It happened to the greenwitch who trained me, until I got old enough to pitch a fit at the Council for neglecting their duty towards us. They’ve been very good since then.”

Edda sipped her tea, “Sorry, I wasn’t planning on getting right into the deep end, but that’s the work where you’ll need to make the most difference in the least amount of time. It’s what I’m going to be training you for, as you need strength and stamina to be able to help in the way that you’ll want. All the other work we do has similar skills involved, but we can take more time and less power is needed.”

“What sorts of things are those?”

Shaun called across the room, “Millie, ask her what this village looked and felt like when we first moved here.”

Mille looked at Edda, “You had to fix here?”

“It was so sad, there’d been a long and bitter battle in the area between two groups who each had far too much power and no restraint. I don’t think any of the people involved could even remember what they were fighting about, if they ever knew. They finally wore each other out and slunk off in various directions but left a place that was burnt, exhausted and so very lonely without any of its people, even though those people hadn’t cared for it.”

Millie’s breath hitched on a sob and Edda reached across the table to squeeze her hand. “Remember it ends up a happy story.”

Millie nodded, “How did you make such a difference?”

“I was asked to come here on assignment by the Global Council. They’d had a change of leadership around the same time as I pitched that fit about doing the right thing and the new people in charge took the advice very seriously. They asked a witch from each element to come and start a healing on the place while they tracked the people responsible and made sure they could never do the same thing again, and that they could never return to the place they’d ruined.”

“The other witches came, healed and helped as needed, and left. I couldn’t. Something about this place just called to me and I knew, if I was allowed to stay and love it as I wanted, it would become the most beautiful place in the world. For me at least.”

Edda smiled at Millie, “That tends to be how we greenwitches find our forever homes, we arrive at a place and it just takes hold of our hearts.”

Shaun joined the conversation from his spot in the kitchen, “Imagine us Millie, moving to a burnt-out, shell of a village, standing in the charred leftovers of a sad old forest, with only the most desperate people, who could not find another home, surrounding us. Adam was one year old, just walking, barely talking and here we were. Frankly, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”

Millie stared between them, mouth agape, “Really?”

“I’ll show you the photos one day, it’ll be good practice for you to work out which bits I started on and why.”

“Not now?”

“No, not now, I want to teach you some ways of fixing such things first so you don’t feel helpless when you see it.”

Edda sat straighter, “Now, we have gone off on a tangent. We don’t just fix other people’s messes you’ll be glad to hear. Sometimes we’re asked to help set things up so that a place’s future will be better.”

Shaun added, “This is where the building mage, Anton, comes in.”

“Oh yes, you see, we can make a big difference to the start of big projects for towns or cities that want to bring nature back to the people in them, make them healthier, happier and better at using energy and such things.”

“What do you mean?”

“A few years ago, New York wanted to make their city healthier for the people living there, so they passed a law to make all the rooftops of the buildings that could have people on them, into gardens. The residents loved the idea and started growing their own vegetables and things. What I was able to do was come in and use some of our magic, with the help of a few of the older trees in the original parks and brace and fortify the buildings to hold much bigger, deeper gardens.”

Millie gasped, “You made the New York roof orchards? I’ve seen them on telly, they’re beautiful.”

Edda smiled, “Thank you. Would you like to do similar things?”

“Oh yes.”

“Then I think you’ve chosen your best possible apprenticeship.”

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