It would be...difficult, to think of the tyro as Mistress of the Eastern Wood. Morwen watched Dorothy introducing her aunt and uncle to the King, the girl's face bright and the older couple looking bemused but pleased. The loss of her Cardinal sister was still an ache in Morwen's chest, and it would be a long time before Dorothy could ascend to her skill and power.
It could be worse. The mantle could have gone to one of Glinda's pets, after all.
And, deep down, Morwen had to admit to liking Dorothy's grit.
"She'll do," she said grudgingly to Mother South, who was the only other person in the palace's throne room - besides the Monarch - who got a chair.
"I think so," Mother South agreed. "And she'll hone her powers the faster if she insists on going back and forth between worlds."
"Hmph." Morwen watched the gold and gems flash on Dorothy's hand as she gestured, and soothed the pang with the reminder that at least all of East's stored spells had gone to Ozma.
Tip. The King. The bloody tomato. As long as the kid handles the job…
Morwen leaned a shoulder against the wall - she'd never gone in for formality and there was no reason to start now - and reflected on the recent changes. With the defeat of the Beast Forever and Oz's restoration, witches were being hailed as heroes everywhere, which was a welcome change after the Wizard's persecution. Mother South had spent a week at Chalcedon healing the damaged witchlings; her subsequent interview with Glinda had been private, but the Witch of the North had sulked for three days afterwards, and Morwen had enjoyed every minute.
"Are you still planning on naming Glinda your successor?" she asked, her tone innocent.
The glance Mother South gave her was tolerant. "I have better candidates."
Morwen looked away, her next question sticking in her throat. Mother South patted her arm.
"No one can take up my powers unwillingly," she said softly. "If you still don't want the responsibility when I am ready to lay it down, we will find another."
Morwen turned back in time to see her smirk. "It will not be soon, in any case," Mother South added.
Morwen snickered. She let her knees go loose and sat down on the floor next to the chair. Tip glanced over at the movement and a quick grin flickered across his face before he turned back to Dorothy's relations.
Across the room, Dorothy's faithful hound was waiting for her, solemnly playing some kind of string game with the little witchling by his side. Her faithful hound was, meanwhile, scratching his ear, his collar jingling faintly. They made a ridiculous picture, but Morwen couldn't fault Leith's choices. Or Dorothy's taste, for that matter.
Magic - and life - was change, but not necessarily for the worse. The Wizard was gone and Mother South returned, and that, Morwen thought, was enough for the moment.
She turned up one palm and conjured a bit of fire to dance there, just for the fun of it. Then she leaned her head against her Mother's knee, and let the magic play.