“Up a Tree”
After giving in to an impulse one afternoon, Filius finds himself in an awkward position. Set in June 1960.
Second in a set of humorous flashfics featuring Filius Flitwick, Hogwarts Charms master. A “Cheering Charm” flashfic on the Petulant Poetess. A Resolving a Misunderstanding universe fic.
Characters: Filius Flitwick, Minerva McGonagall, Pomona Sprout
Genres: Humor, Flashfic
Filius looked around. He’d overheard Pomona saying she was going to be in the school’s small orchard that afternoon, one last time before she left the school later in the evening. He had thought that he might take a walk and just happen to run into her. But where was she? It was early still; perhaps she was on her way down.
Filius wasn’t sure why Pomona had stopped seeing Preston, but she had, so she was between boyfriends at the moment. Of course, he’d recently begun seeing Caroline, but just casually. She was a very bright, attractive witch, and they had fun together, but she wasn’t Pomona.
This was silly, hanging about the orchard. He shouldn’t even be out there, Filius thought with a sudden sense of foreboding. He should simply owl Caroline for a date. Now that it was summer, his time was his own, and he could see more of Caroline—but that also meant he’d see little of Pomona over the next several weeks. It couldn’t hurt to catch just a glimpse of her before they each left on holiday.
Whether Pomona was already there or on her way, he’d like to catch sight of her either coming or going. He could at least see her as she passed by—provided, of course, that he could see her. Filius looked at the gnarled old apple tree he was standing beneath, its branches low and weather-bent. He hadn’t climbed a tree in years—decades, in fact—but he could gain a better view, just watch her as she passed by. No harm in that.
Glad he’d long ago mastered self-levitating spells, Filius Levitated himself easily to the lowest branch. After that, it wasn’t difficult to climb up a little further. He looked around. He still couldn’t see very well, so reaching up, he swung himself higher. Beginning to slip, he grabbed his new branch and hugged it tightly with his arms and legs. Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea, after all, Filius thought. But he could see better.
Filius inched his hands back until he was sitting up. Yes, he could see quite well now from his new vantage point. And hear, too. Pomona and someone . . . a male someone. All he’d wanted was to catch a glimpse of Pomona. But what if she caught a glimpse of him, he suddenly thought with alarm. Up a tree? In such a foolish position without a single excuse to be had, not when the fruit wouldn’t be ripe yet for months. Glad he had worn his green robes and afraid to move even enough to Disillusion himself, Filius hoped that remaining still would keep him unnoticed by the couple.
Pomona was with a tall, handsome wizard. They seemed quite friendly, laughing and talking together, Pomona’s hand on the broad-shouldered wizard’s arm . . .
A half hour later, Pomona and her friend on their way to the greenhouses, Filius let out a breath he felt he’d held since they’d entered the orchard. At least he hadn’t been seen, and the two had done nothing but talk and laugh, well, nothing but flirt and laugh, it seemed. Filius looked down; the ground now seemed very far away, much further than it had when he’d first climbed up. There was a rustling above him. Surprised, he watched as a tabby cat gracefully climbed and leapt down out of the tree they’d apparently been sharing.
With a pop, Minerva appeared below. “Like a hand, Filius?”
Filius nodded silently, loosening his hold on his branch. Minerva waved her wand and gently lowered him to the ground.
“I’ve learned some very interesting things when I nap in the trees.” She quirked a small smile. “Not always things I particularly wanted to know, however.”
Filius blushed. He could hear Pomona’s laughter in the distance. He could only imagine what Minerva had thought when she’d seen him climb up into the tree and watch Pomona and her new beau. She was right, though, he certainly hadn’t wanted to learn that Pomona was seeing someone new.
“I think it’s going to rain. Come join me for a game of Go,” Minerva said briskly. “We can help each other with strategy. We’ll have a good afternoon, Filius, you’ll see.”