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Maritza

They’re playing another of Maritza’s word games. It’s a stupid one: no word shorter than three syllables. They know it’s stupid, gigglingly; she knows he knows she really just wants to show off.

“Harrykins?” she asks, leaning in from the kitchenette with enticing smells behind her. “Ameliorate starvation?”

Harry bites his lip, catching the “sure!” before it can escape. He hesitates.

Respondez-vous s’il-vous-plait?” she asks, grinning, trying to run it all together.

“Illegal!” he shouts triumphantly. “Sec-secondary verbiage! Monosyllabic!”

“Philistine! Honestly!”

“Maritza, pseudofrancophone.”

What’s great, she thinks, is what he doesn’t realize: she started it to let him show off, too.

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