“Miss, why do witches wear skirts and dresses?” The figurine doll had somehow found itself atop the witch’s dresser, looking down at him while it manipulated a clothspin to weave lint together.

“I think it’s just something that stuck after a while,” he replied, folding some t-shirts slowly and sliding them away.

“Is there a magical reason for it?”

“None that I’m aware of. I know some witches that wear pants and can cast just as well.”

“Is it mandatory?”

“The Matriarch I trained under would side eye me if I showed up to a meeting in pants but no, I don’t think it’s an actual rule.”

“Does Miss like wearing skirts?”

“Yes, but I feel like you’re setting something up.”

“Don’t human girls usually wear skirts?”

“Yes, and human boys do too.”

“But it’s rarer, yes?”

“In some cultures and times, yes. But that’s hardly applicable to the culture of witches, particularly the witches we’re around, is it?”

“But Miss wears skirts around the house as well.”

“Well, yes, I’m a witch.”

“But if it’s not required, why does Miss choose to?”

“Because it’s comfortable and I like the aesthetic.”

“This one is still convinced that Miss is hiding something.”

“Yes, and I’m convinced the maid dolls have been letting you watch too much TV while I’m gone.”

“It saw a very good cartoon about accepting yourself,” the thing huffed. “It wants Miss to be happy!”

“I appreciate the concern, I really do. But I’m very confident in my identity, don’t worry.”

“Why did Miss modify his body, then?”

The witch stopped folding for a moment, something flashing in his eyes, some distant memory taking over until he blinked, smiling lightly and continuing to fold. “Well, that’s one reason I know for sure, yeah?”

“This one is confused. Did Miss regret that?”

“No, not necessarily.” He shrugged, moving on to a new pile of laundry while stray magic began sorting it out. “I could have reversed it, with a little more pain and magic. I’m comfortable like this; your form doesn’t define your identity, after all.”

“But why would Miss change his body if not to be more accurate to Miss’s wishes?”

“Well, when I was younger, I was told that it was primarily girls who gained magical talent. That’s not true, but Matriarchs recognize it in younger girls more than they do boys. So I was an exception, even in my class. I didn’t know what to make of it, so I changed it.”

“Did Miss want to be a girl?”

“I wanted to be acknowledged for what I could do. It took me a long time to understand that the yearning I felt wasn’t so simple. It also took me a long time to realize that these things aren’t as two-sided as they at first seem.”

“Does Miss think of himself as a boy, then?”

“To an extent. It’s… incomplete. It’s a useful simplification, certainly, especially for individuals who are not nearly as good a listener as my inquisitive doll. It’s not something I fully understand, even now.”

“Was Miss forced to be a girl?”

“No, certainly not. The magicks that altered my body weren’t cooked up overnight, and no one in my coven insisted, much as they might have made comments about it all. No, that discovery was my own to make, and my own to refine further.”

“Miss is always so mysterious. Does he have any other secrets from his past?”

“No more that doll’s getting from me tonight.”






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