A/N: Bookverse - the 'real' reason why Elphaba decided to give wings to the snow monkeys ;)

"You know," Nanny mused, "you're only a caricature of a witch, really."

"What?" Elphaba spun around sharply, the breeze from her cape almost extinguishing the candle she had been hovering over.

"It's true, dearie. You're no more a witch than I." Nanny laughed when Elphaba's eyes narrowed, tellingly. "You're just propagating a stereotype, flying around on that horrid old thing -" she nodded towards the broom "- and wearing those dreary old rags - all that black! Why not some nice peaches or lilacs?"

Elphaba scowled, turning back to the window, her nails tapping on the sill in a brisk rhythm.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you read too many fairytales growing up," Nanny added. "Although, I must admit, the monkeys are quite novel. Aren't you, Chistery?" She smiled towards the dozing creature. "No simple black cat for our Elphie. No graying skin and gnarled hair, either," she chuckled; Elphaba ducked away in irritation when Nanny reached towards the end of her braid, intent on loosening it. "Are you going to bake the little girl into a pie, then? Perhaps melt down that tin chap into a nice serving dish. And I suppose the straw fellow can provide the kindling."

Elphaba pursed her lips grimly as Nanny continued.

"And wings for the Lion too, I suppose? A new challenge to set for yourself?"

"Why would I waste my time and resources on a cowardly creature such as he?" scoffed Elphaba. "Besides, if he is who I suspect he is, he would be quite against such experiments on his body, and I would not blame him in the slightest." She silently took stock of her current crop of snow monkeys, most of whom were flitting gaily about the forecourt. "I think I'm beyond new challenges, Nanny. It's time to settle with what I have."

"Finished atoning then?" Nanny clucked. "It's about time, too. Your sister's condition wasn't your fault, dearie -"

"What?" Elphaba wheeled around again, her eyes blazing. Nanny smiled blithely.

"Oh, don't think I don't know your reasoning behind all your work, Nanny's not as old and fuddled as all that." She patted Chistery's head, surprising him out of his slumber. "Giving these creatures extra limbs to make up for your sister's lack, it's -"

"It's preposterous!" Elphaba interrupted hotly. "I am doing no such thing. The two have no bearing whatsoever on each other."

"Two limbs here, no limbs there, four limbs here," Nanny chuckled in a singsong voice as Elphaba continued to steam silently. "Why are you doing it, then? What reason do you tell yourself as you fuss over those tiny stitches and study anatomical diagrams and squint at musty old spell-books?"

Elphaba stared steadfastly ahead, waiting to catalogue the exact second when her potential killers would break the horizon.

"Because attaching prehensile tails to rocs was a resounding failure," she replied through gritted teeth, suddenly striding towards the door with a would-be regal swish of her cape. "Are you coming down to supper, or am I to dine alone again? I don't care to wait for Liir tonight. Imminent homicide makes me hungry."

"Just like your mother," Nanny muttered to Elphaba's shadow, giving Chistery another pat. "Don't you go telling her, but she's just like her mother."

Chistery smiled conspiratorially as Nanny swept out of the room as well, launching himself stiffly out of the window to join his kin. "I won't."