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Fairies at the Threshold
part 13
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The boggart’s body is filthy and covered in scabs. At one time it was presumed that perhaps the bacteria in a house affected brownies more than they did the humans, causing the scabs and their transformation into a boggart. Boggarts tear at their own flesh in frustration as they find themselves trapped in a home they no longer want to live in.
Brownies and other hearth fairies are neat freaks; they choose to inhabit beautiful homes. The size or cost of the home isn’t the issue. What they care about is that the house be warm and inviting, if its not they’ll begin to go crazy or leave. Looking at the boggart and a brownie side by side one would never think they are one and the same, for when fairies change they don’t simply become messier, or alter their style. Their face and body warps, in some cases fairies that were hundreds of feet tall have become smaller then six inches thanks to the changes in the modern world.
The boggart jumps off the bed and runs through the wall. I follow it. Boggart’s are dizzyingly fast and can pass through floors, walls, and other household objects as if they weren’t there. They can also close any door in the house without having to be near it. Its rarely human dead who haunt houses, at least not in the form we tend to anticipate. In reality it’s more likely to be a fairy. Hearth fairies and other similar fairies can grow close to people, so when a person dies suddenly they become wild, just as this boggart has. They are also prone to creating glamour’s of the person they once loved, all of which creates the illusion that the being haunting the house is the person that has passed on.
I catch up to the boggart as it licks at the milk in the fridge with a long, filthy tongue. A boggart living in your house means that your food goes bad faster and is more likely to carry food poisoning, even if it escapes the general mess of the rest of the house because the boggart will lick at it for his sustenance.

I sneak into one of the apartments the vampire passed by which is average in cleanliness but is very brightly decorated. The smell of freshly baked bread still hangs in the air. Of all the things they could eat hearth fairies prefer baked bread over anything else. So depending on how often the owner of this apartment bakes bread, there should be a lot of household fairies in this place.
First things first, I check around the threshold and find a cat with a beard. It’s a domovoi, a Russian hearth fairy. Much like the brownie, the domovoi is typically seen as an old man; however it can take the form of a cat or a dog. They do more for a family than just protecting it from evil magic, they also help them foretell the future by giving them a sense of peace or foreboding about things they are about to do. Domovoi are typically the spirits of deceased relatives of the people whose houses they inhabit. I have one in my own household, a great, great, grandfather spirit who came down from my mothers side.
Typically helpful, he like most domovoi is likely to cause trouble for the neighbors if they can, however other fairies under the threshold won’t allow them to do this. Considering that this domovoi’s neighbors no longer have a threshold fairy actively protecting them, however, it's likely that he enters their house to cause trouble. Hiding keys, breaking cups, or even stealing money to place in their own family member’s wallets or coat pockets are a favorite activity. As with all fairies then, the domovoi has a dual nature, helpful and wicked. This is why household fairies can be so important, because they protect us from the “Other world” which is teeming with fairies just waiting to burst across our thresholds.

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