Ray squints out the window of the palace. It’s already dawn. Time sure does fly by. No wonder there’s no one in the palace hallways; they must be busy preparing dinner in the kitchen. The blonde grabs a piece of straw and sets it in the center of the binding of the book he was holding- a makeshift bookmark- and shuts it, setting it on the table where he sat in the vast library of the Emerald Palace. He must’ve spent all day reading that. No wonder it was already dawn- he should’ve thought it was strange how far he’d gotten in the reading today.
The man stretches his arms above his head briefly, letting out a sigh before sliding off the chocolate brown chair. The book is taken under his arm and he decides he might as well take it to his room. No point in keeping it in the library, in case he wanted to read in bed. Once the book was safe in one of his drawers, he could make out the sound of soft little steps approaching the door. Big, uneven blue eyes blinked as he looked towards where the sound was coming from.
Knock, knock, knock.
“Come right on in, little Dorothy!” he chirped, rosy cheeks lifting as he smiled softly.
“How’d ya know it was me?” the little one wondered as she made her way inside, a black mutt following close at her heels. The man grins with a soft chuckle, “your steps are heavier than Ozma’s and lighter than Jellia’s. And you three are the only ones with little steps like that. That and I can hear little Toto’s paws hitting the ground as he follows you.”
Toto barked, wagging his tail and hopping onto Ray’s bed. Dorothy nodded, “I see. That makes sense, I think.” She taps her index finger to her chin thoughtfully. “Anyway. I’m here because Nick asked me to give you this.”
“What is it?”
The little girl pulled out what seemed to be a book-sized bar of chocolate and shrugged as she handed it forth. Dawn, it read. The once-stuffed man took the bar in his hands and traced over it gently. It was a book, he realized. But the residue it left on his fingers was soft and velvety like chocolate. A book made out of chocolate perhaps? But why?
He giggled to himself. Only Nick would tie in something as romantic as chocolate to one of the ex-Scarecrow’s interests. How sweet of him. Looking in, it seemed like a love poem after a love poem. “Ah, I see now,” Ray said to himself with a grin, rosy cheeks flushing further.
How like him it was to send him something such as this. Ray would step into the Wizard's office that night, giving a gentle knock on his door before he entered.
"Kind Wizard, I've come to ask a minor favor of you if that will be quite alright?"
"But of ourse, dear Ray. What is it?"
"You see, my dearest Nick has sent for me what seems to be a bunch of love poems engraved into a chocolate book. I'm sure his intention was for me to eat it but...I've grown to love it enough that I cannot bring myself to do such a thing, you know? And I'm afraid that if I do nothing to have it permanently frozen, it might melt!"
"And you've come to me because?"
The once stuffed man huffed exasperatedly, "you know...I would like you to freeze this magically so I don't have to keep it in the freezer all the time. Even if I did that, I'm afraid someone else may eat it and it would eventually melt if I decided to take it out. In fact, it's already in the process of leaving sticky residue on my fingers. So, please, help me!"
The Wizard sighed and took off his reading glasses, putting down the book he'd been studying. The one Glinda had given him to help him further understand the flow of magic. "I see..." He reached forth a hand, allowing Ray to place the large block into his hand. It was indeed starting to melt, especially where Ray's warm fingerprints had touched it. An easy enough thing to restore. Although he had a feeling if Nick saw it, he'd be fond of the fact that Ray had held it dearly enough to leave such fingerprints and little wedges as a result of it.
He checked the rest of the book to make sure the words it had engraved were not beginning to fade away and made sure to fix them enough if they were. Once that was done and the book had been properly restored, the Wizard set the block down on an emerald green plate before closing his eyes and focusing.
Magic was simply energy. Magic was never still. It always wanted to be something else. All you had to do was shape it yourself. Mold the magic into what you wanted it to be. The Wizard could feel Ray's cool blue eyes on him as he worked, and he could practically see him worrying at his peach-pink bottom lip anxiously as the older worked away.
Admittedly, The Wizard had never before performed such a magic trick that would freeze something permanently- or freeze something at all, for that matter. Still, this should be an easy task. "Now if you would just stop staring at me in such a way..."
"Sorry," Ray squeaked, looking away bashfully. He'd simply gotten excited. He fidgeted slightly, playing with the hem of his sleeve.
The Wizard heaved a sigh and went back to concentrating. Blue light emitted from his hands and swirled around the chocolate book, lifting it up slightly from its place on the plate. He could practically hear it freezing as his own hands became unbearably cold. He had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from breaking the book in half instead.
Once it was done, the book was handed back to Ray, who squeaked excitedly and bounced on his heels. "Thank you so much! How may I repay you?"
"Honestly? Just get me a fire going at the fire place..."