Rather than the messy kitchen, we repaired to a comfortable lounge. Which was next to, no kidding, a ballroom. It didn’t look like it saw much use. It would, I thought, make a good salle.
I rolled my eyes inwardly. Couldn’t remember first grade math, knew what a good salle was. Maybe I had fallen out of a fantasy novel or…a fantasy realm. Or faerie.
Was I a fairy? No. My gut said absolutely not. “It’s a kelpie. Thea called it something else, something unpronounceable, but…”
“That was it. Gaelic, I guess, or something.” I thought I could pronounce it. Maybe. It did hover on the edge of my consciousness.
“Shapeshifters. Feed off of magic, psionics, human flesh, human souls if they can get them. Which is more common lately.”
“Easier to steal somebody’s soul if they aren’t particularly religious.”
The witch…who’s name was Rose…tapped her nose. A black cat wandered in and hopped into her lap. She petted it absently. “Exactly. Yours is in…” She tilted her head for a moment. “…no danger at all.”
“It could still kill me. I thought a couple of times it was going to.”
“Probably afraid of who might come after it if it did.” Rose let out a breath. “But it’s mad with you?”
“Definitely. One of Thea’s friends kicked its butt and I stole prime prey from under its nose. I’d say it hates me right now.”
“So it might well come after you. Easy enough, then. Wait for it to come and get you and…might be easiest if I gave you something to throw at it. A potion, of sorts.”
I nodded. “I don’t need lots of detail. I’m not a witch and I don’t want to be one. Just as long as it works.”
Witch grenades? The image was vaguely amusing, but if it worked, if it was what needed to be done, I’d do it. Throwing something at it. “But I thought we’d need some kind of massive ritual.”
She grinned. “First of all, iron filings. Cold iron. That alone will repel most fairies.”
So, I definitely wasn’t one. “I’ll bear that in mind. Thea doesn’t seem to know that.”
“I don’t know her, but I have an image in my mind. Tough, no nonsense…and likes to see the whites of their eyes.”
I thought about Thea. She was right. But at least Rose didn’t seem too bothered that I knew a stone cold killer. Which Thea was. Which I was, if I was honest with myself. Or could be if I let myself be. “Subtle isn’t her, that’s for sure.”
“But killing these things just banishes them temporarily. You need a binding spell to do it permanently. And yes, there’s a ritual, but it’s not going to stand still for it. So you do all but the very last part of the spell, and tie that last part into an object or an action or a word.”
I nodded. “And if you use an object it doesn’t have to be the same person?”
“Right. Come back in a few hours and I’ll have what you need.”