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But when Proserpina arrives she finds no villains, no cold and haughty packs: just girls, nervous and homesick and trying to scrape together a little armor. The first night, she stays up sewing little button bunnies out of her socks and stuffing them with paper. She leaves them on bedfeet, and notices that not a few girls keep them, and cry less. She and a girl named Iala laugh at whoever was silly enough to use up all her socks that way. She has a friend.

She borrows one sock from each of her dormmates; nobody ever notices that they’re mismatched.