“That’s not universal advice okay, you can’t just say-”



“That’s not universal advice okay, you can’t just say-”

Stab!” Sunlight gleams sharply off the crow’s black eyes. She clacks her beak and hops toward me along the balcony railing. I reach out gently and tease her chest feathers. 

“You can’t always solve problems by stabbing someone. Sometimes, stabbing someone makes the situation worse.” I smile at the crow. She always knows what to say, even if I can’t stab my landlady. Mrs. Bentlesby might get on my nerves sometimes, but she’s a decent woman. 


“Not stab.” I shake my head. 


“Yes, I need the rent money. There must be some spells people want done around here. Love potions even.”

“Potions,” agrees the bird. 

“Plus, I only ever stabbed those two men. And you know what they were doing.” I shiver in the warmth. It’s best not to think about it.

“Bad, bad!” calls the crow, raising her wings. 

“Very bad,” I agree. I scritch her head, and she squints her eyes in pleasure. 

“You want to hear a secret?” 


“I don’t put any magic in the love potions I sell. Love magic is unpredictable at best, and unethical at worst. I just make a dilute of laudanum and tell them they must both drink all of it and that it wears off.” 


“You know, you’re smart, even for a crow.” I smile at her, wondering if she has any secrets of her own.


“I think there might be something a little magical about you.” 

“Witch! Crow!”

“Did a witch turn you into a crow?”

“Witch, crow.” She bobbed her head at me. 

“Did you used to be human?” 

“Human! Crow!”

“Oh my Lord! Do you want me to try to turn you back into a human?”


“Is that a no?”


“Are… are you happy being a crow?”

“Happy! Crow!” 

“Would you care to explain how you came to be turned into a crow?”

“Love, witch. Witch, fight. Human, crow.”

“You… loved a witch and fought with her, and she turned you into a crow?” I try to ask gently. Perhaps it is hard for her to remember her life as a human. She squawks and rattles her feathers.

“Witch, fight. Witch fight!” She cocks her head.

“Someone else fought your witch?”

“Witch fight!”

“And they turned you into a crow?”


“But then where is your witch? Shouldn’t you be with her?”

“Love witch.”

“Is… is she dead?”


“I’m so sorry.” I reach out to her, and she rests her beak on my finger for a moment. Then she ruffles her feathers and steps back. 


“Am I you friend? I’d like that.”


i love everything about this holy shit