|A Soft Meow in a Witch's Heart
Author: Awesome Rapidash PM
The Witch Princess finds something unexpected while she's out looking for potion ingredients. What she finds will awaken something within her that she never knew existed. How can something so small have such a big impact? Please read and review.Rated: Fiction K - English - Tragedy/Hurt/Comfort - Witch Princess - Words: 3,627 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Published: 05-23-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5082056
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Harvest Moon, Natsume and Marvelous Interactive do.
A special thanks goes out to Peach the Hedgehog for her help!
A Soft Meow in a Witch's Heart
The sun was just beginning to rise above the horizon, its warming rays glistening off the dew covered leaves that surrounded a lone girl standing on the edge of the forest. A cool morning breeze ruffled her long sandy blonde hair as she scanned the area in front of her.
A faint smile crossed the girl's face as she looked down to her side at the light brown satchel. It was filled with a variety of grasses and mushrooms that would be very useful to her. She smiled a little more when she considered all the potions she could make using the ingredients she'd just spent the night harvesting. After a few more moments, allowing the morning sun to illuminate the area around her, she began to walk down the dry dirt pathway that led back to the village.
She had only walked a short distance when a strange sound captured her attention. She paused; her crimson eyes peering intently into the surrounding grassy and wooded areas for the source of the noise. At first, she could no longer hear it and was about to dismiss it as just the sounds of a random animal when she heard it once again. This time there was no mistaking the sound; it was the weak meows of a cat.
Stepping carefully off the path and into the tall damp grass Hikari searched for the source of the meows. It didn't take her long. What she found was a young black colored cat with a white chest lying on its side in the grass. The feline looked up at the witch and meowed weakly. Hikari kneeled down next to the animal and looked it over. A small gasp escaped her lips as she noticed the reddish color of blood staining the grass underneath the cat.
Hikari reached out slowly, and touched the animal's side causing the cat to meow and weakly swat her with its paw. "Hey, I'm not going to harm you," she said softly. "It looks like you've been injured," she added, gently stroking the cat's fur.
Carefully she reached out again and gently slid her hands carefully under the cat and slowly began to pick the injured feline up from its spot on the wet cold grass. The cat meowed weakly but did not resist Hikari as the witch picked it up. She cradled the animal in her arms and carefully made her way back out to the dusty pathway. She turned and began to hurry down the path back to her hut.
Once back at her hut, Hikari opened the door and stepped inside. She dropped the satchel on a nearby table and began to look around, searching for something specific.
"Ah, there's that box!" she exclaimed, walking over to a wooden crate with the word "Tomatoes" printed in red on the side of it. "I guess this will do," she said, using one arm to cradle the cat and the other to grab the box from its place on the floor.
She carried the crate over to the table and set it down. Then, after placing a towel on her bed, she gently set the injured feline down. The cat gave a weak meow and looked up at the blonde haired girl standing above it.
"You're going to be alright!" she whispered softly. "Just stay here until I get your bed fixed up," she explained before standing up and turning her attention back to the crate.
"Hm… what to use as bedding?" she wondered for a moment. Her crimson eyes looked around the small confines of her hut, stopping on an old faded blue blanket tucked into a corner. "That will work nicely," she said, walking over and picking the frayed blanket up. She then returned to the crate and put the blanket inside, arranging it into somewhat of a nest. "Perfect! I guess Jack was right. You can always use a crate or two."
She walked back over to the bed and picked the cat up. "First let's tend to your injuries," she explained, gently probing the bloodied area of fur. What she found shocked her. The wound wasn't too long, but looked deep and jagged. Carefully she used a dampened cloth to clean the area, and then she placed a folded piece of white cloth over the cut and wrapped it in place with two long thin strips that she wrapped around the cat's body and tied them snugly. All the while the cat only meowed softly, never resisting or trying to fight her. It seemed to accept the fact that Hikari was trying to help it.
Once the bandaging was finished she carried the cat over to the crate and set it inside. Though weak, the cat moved carefully in the crate, finding a spot on the blanket and laying down. It purred softly, looking up at the blonde haired witch as if to thank her.
Hikari watched the cat for a bit before turning and heading over to her cupboard. She opened the door and rummaged around for a bit, finally reemerging with a small white porcelain saucer and a yellow bowl. "These should do the trick nicely."
She filled the saucer with water and placed it into the crate near the cat's head. She then turned her attention to the bowl. A confused look crossed her face as she looked at the empty bowl. "Um, just what do cats eat?" she wondered out loud. "I think they eat mice and things like that." She looked at the cat. "But somehow I doubt that you can eat a mouse in your condition. I'll have to figure something out later. At least you have some water for now."
The cat gave a weak meow and laid itself back down. Hikari took a step back and paused. "I need a name for you… I can't just call you cat after all." She thought about it for a little bit, mulling over several names before finally deciding on one. "Hm…, you're a girl… let's see." A smile filled the witch's face. "I got it!" She peered back into the crate and smiled. "I'm going to call you Tsuki, it means moon in the language of my clan. After all, I found you after the night of the full moon!"
Tsuki looked up and meowed softly as if to say that she'd accepted the name.
The following day after she checked Tsuki's bandage and made sure that she had enough water to drink, Hikari headed out of her small hut to go the Rose Farm. Her good friend, Jack, lived and worked on the farm and she was sure that if anyone could help her with her current dilemma, he could. After thinking about it last night, she'd remembered that the farmer had a black cat named Luna. Jack had even brought the little cutie over for some visits! So she figured that Jack would know what to give Tsuki to eat.
As she walked along the road she felt the disapproving eyes of the villagers staring at her. She tried to ignore the many stares given to her by the people in the valley. Sometimes she wished she'd just leave the valley and never return. She looked over as two of the valley's residents quickly averted their gaze away from her. "Those stupid mortals, believing only what they wanted to, the stereotypes that portrayed all witches evil creatures," she growled to herself. She didn't really have much in the way of friends, except for Jack.
Finally she arrived at the farm and passed though the front gate. As she approached the farmhouse she looked out at the fields of Jack's farm. It had taken a lot of hard work for him to get to where he was with it now. Resurrecting the dying remains of a farm isn't something that you could just do overnight. Lush green grass covered part of the field and vegetables were also growing in the rest. It didn't seem like he had a lot of animals quite yet, but at least his field was now clear of stumps and rocks that had threatened to take over when he'd first arrived. If only the same thing could be said about the weeds, those seemed to grow back daily!
Hikari walked up to the front door and knocked on it. Sure, she could just warp right in, but knocking was a nice change of pace. The wooden door slowly opened and a familiar face stuck his head out.
"Oh, hi Hikari!" Jack greeted as he opened the door all the way. "I don't usually see you around here. What's up?"
"Oh, I just came by to get some advice, that's all," the blonde haired witch explained as she allowed herself into the house.
The farmer gazed at the girl with a confused look in his eyes as he closed the door. "You're coming to me for advice?" he stammered, sounding a bit uncertain.
"Yeah, that's right. Is there something wrong about that?" Hikari demanded.
Jack quickly shook his head. "No, no it's just that I've never seen you do that before," he replied.
"Well, I have my reasons," the witch remarked as she looked around the house, wondering where Jack's cute black cat was. It didn't take her long to locate the cat. She noticed that the kitty was eating something out of a small white bowl. "Hey Jack, what's Luna eating?"
"Cat food," Jack answered, a little confused by the question.
"I can see that," Hikari muttered with a shake of her head. "I mean, what is she eating?"
"And like I just said, cat food," the farmer repeated. "You know the kind that you can buy at the store to feed to your cats. There are so many varieties of cat food to choose from." With a small smile, Jack led Hikari over to the cabinet and opened it up. "See what I mean?" he asked, showing her the many different cans of cat food stacked neatly inside. He reached in and picked one up. "This one is Luna's favorites." He showed her a can of food with the picture of a light gray cat on the front of it.
Hikari took the can from Jack to read the words that were on it. According to the label, there were bits of meat and other stuff on the inside of it. "Say, would it be okay if I took this one and maybe a couple of other cans?"
Jack gave his friend a puzzled look. "Why? Last I checked you didn't have a cat."
"Yeah well… I found Tsuki not long ago," Hikari explained. "I found her wounded near the forest when I was out looking for some ingredients for my potions. I wasn't sure what I could feed her, because I doubt she could eat a mouse in her current state."
The farmer looked even more confused when the witch said what she did. He could understand that Hikari would take care of a wounded cat. After all, he knew that whenever he brought Luna for visits she was really happy, and even held and pet her a lot. But there was one thing that puzzled him.
"You said in her state, right? You mean you didn't heal her with your magic?"
"I couldn't," the crimson eyed witch replied, shaking her head. "It is very rare for a witch to be able to know a healing spell. And while I do know one, it wouldn't work on an animal." She kept her next thought to herself, about how an annoying Harvest Goddess could have possibly healed Tsuki, but like she would ever go to her for help. "My mother knew all sorts of spells, but healing animals wasn't one of them. So of course, I don't know any either."
"Oh, I see. So you are trying to take care of her without magic?" inquired a surprised Jack.
"That's right," Hikari said with a nod of her head. "I cleaned and bandaged the wound myself."
Jack smiled a little to himself. He'd never heard of a witch doing something like that if she couldn't use magic. That was interesting to say the least. He never knew that the blonde haired witch had it in her. "I see. Well, then you better get back to her so you can take care of her," he added, handing her several more cans of assorted cat food.
Hikari accepted the food and thanked her friend. She quickly headed back towards her hut, hoping that the food would give renewed energy to her new found friend.
Back at her hut Hikari checked up on Tsuki and found the small feline curled up sleeping. She smiled slightly and placed the cans of food down on the table before walking over to the bookshelves that lined the back of her home. Her crimson eyes scanned the many spell and potion books that filled the shelves.
After several minutes she sighed, knowing that even with all her books, there was nothing that she could use to help Tsuki. She stood there for a moment thinking of her options when the sounds of soft meows filled her ears.
She quickly moved over to the tomato crate and looked inside, seeing Tsuki over at the water bowl lapping at the water. Her legs trembled as she stood. A smile filled the witch's face. "You're looking better," she cooed softly, gently stroking the fur in the back of the cat's neck. "I bet you're hungry!" Tsuki looked up at the blonde and meowed.
Hikari stepped over to the table and picked up the can with the light gray cat on it. "Ocean white fish," she read out loud. "That's what Jack's cat Luna likes the best. I hope you like it too," she added, opening the can and using a spoon to scoop half the cans contents onto a small white plate. She placed the plate next to the water bowl and stepped back. Tsuki sniffed the food and after a moment began to eat. At first this filled the witch's heart with hope, but that quickly faded when after only taking a few bites Tsuki moved back and laid down. "Well, maybe you will eat more later," she sighed.
For the remainder of the day the witch went about her usual routine, pausing from time to time to check in on her injured guest. She checked one last time before getting ready for bed. She made sure that the cat's bandages were secure and that she had plenty of water before wishing Tsuki good night and walking over to her bed. She laid herself down and looked up at the off white ceiling above her. Closing her crimson eyes she began to speak softly. "Rin, I know you're a Goddess and all, and that you and I don't see eye to eye and we have had our differences and all, but, maybe… you know, you could help Tsuki…"
The days passed and with each one, Hikari took the time to carefully clean and redress Tsuki's injury. She also made sure that her water bowl was filled and that any waste was cleaned away.
With each day that came and went it seemed as though the injured cat was doing better and that filled the witch with hope. Although she didn't want to believe it, in the back of her mind she wondered if Rin had anything to do with it.
The distant rumble of thunder and the sounds of light rain hitting the roof woke the witch from another nights slumber. She sat up and stretched a little before swinging her legs out of the bed and standing up. After a few moments she stood up and walked over to the table to prepare Tsuki's morning meal. She selected a can with an orange colored tabby cat and pulled the lid open. She emptied half the cans contents into Tsuki's bowl and walked over to the cat. She smiled and looked down at her friend, but her smile quickly faded. The cat's breathing appeared to be labored and she didn't lift her head to look up at the witch.
Worried, the witch looked over the cat's injuries, to see if she'd begun to bleed again but didn't notice any more blood on the bandage. Yet at the same time, she knew that something was defiantly wrong. "This doesn't look good," she sighed softly.
Hikari reached into the crate and gently stroked the back of the cat's neck. Tsuki lifted her head and weakly looked up at her caregiver. She purred softly then placed her head back down on the soft bedding and closed her eyes.
"Maybe you'll want some later…" she said, placing the bowl into the crate next to her water.
Hikari went about her morning routine in a fog, her mind kept wandering back to Tsuki… She wondered if what she'd done had been enough to save the tiny life currently in her care.
Her chores finally complete, she returned to remove the food bowl. She had hoped that Tsuki would eat, since it seemed like when she ate her energy level rose. She looked into the crate and over at the small bowl. She sighed sadly, noticing that the food had only been nibbled at.
"You have to eat Tsuki," she said softly. "That will help you to heal sooner."
The cat simply meowed softly and continued to sleep. Hikari stepped back and felt a wave of helplessness wash over her. The feeling was something new to her and she didn't know how to react to it. She was the Witch Princess after all. In the past she'd killed chickens and even the odd cow or two just for her own entertainment. Yet now, she felt sadness and helplessness for the small creature before her. Warm tears tracked their way down her cheeks as she watched the cat sleep.
"Why am I crying…" she questioned aloud. She looked down at Tsuki and whispered "Why do you have such an affect on me? Why do mean so much to me?"
Stepping back away from the crate she walked over to her caldron and tried to continue with her daily activities. Yet all that seemed to fill her thoughts was the black and white bundle of fur sleeping in the wooden crate.
As night fell Hikari walked over to Tsuki's crate and looked inside. A feeling of dread filled the witch as she looked in on the now still cat. She reached out and gently touched her head but Tsuki didn't respond. Once again she felt warm tears begin to fall from her eyes as she stroked the cat's fur; she knew that Tsuki was gone. She stepped back from the crate and began to sob loudly.
Once again in control of her emotions, the witch placed a blanket on the table and carefully lifted her friend out of the crate, placing her on the table. She removed the bandages and lovingly groomed Tsuki's fur, removing any trace of the injury that had taken her life. She then wrapped the cat in the soft blanket that she had used in the box and headed outside.
Under the light of the moon she walked along the same dusty pathway where she'd originally found the cat, but this time instead of heading into the forest, she took a second pathway, this one lead to the top of a nearby ridgeline. There she had a special place that she would go when she needed time alone.
She found a small clearing near two large trees and using a quick spell, dug a small grave. Carefully she placed the shrouded body of her friend in and stepped back. More warm tears began to trek their way down her cheeks as she stood up.
"I didn't know you that long Tsuki… and I wish that I could have done more to save you. Perhaps… I should have taken you to Jack… he has a cat after all. But I thought that I could take care of you myself. But it seems that I was wrong and I'm so sorry for that…" With that she used a reverse spell to return the earth to its place.
She then stepped forward and using her own hands she planted two Moondrop flowers in the fresh earth. She then stood back up and looked down at the flowers. "Good-bye Tsuki… you will live on forever in my heart."
With that she turned and headed back down the pathway, but instead of heading back to her hut, she headed towards Rose Farm and the only one she thought that could help her to understand what she was feeling right now.
As Hikari walked along the brick pathway towards the farm she thought she could hear soft purring. She stopped and looked up at the bright moon shining overhead and for a brief moment she thought she could see Tsuki smiling back at her.