I stepped out of the room while Clara checked Derek for curses, not wanting my aura to interfere with her senses.
I still thought it wasn’t a curse per se, but some demon, likely the same one, following him around to cause trouble. But it was worth the small effort of checking.
“There’s one other possibility,” Seb said.
“Poltergeist syndrome. Subconscious magic.”
“Meaning Derek might be causing the bad stuff to happen himself without realizing it?” It made a dark kind of sense.
“Right. It’s something you see sometimes in witches that have a lot of talent but no training.”
I stored that away in my head. “If it’s that, then obviously the answer is to train him.”
Sebastian nodded. “Clara’s coven could take him. She’s going to check for that as well.”
Yet another reason to keep me and my divine magic at a bit of a distance. “Good. I’d rather kind of…”
“…get Derek and his problems to the point where they can be dealt with by Derek?”
I grinned at him. “Yeah. Exactly. I have enough issues with Surtur threatening to cause Ragnarok.”
“And properly trained he’ll at least be useful not a liability.”
“I hope so.” I rather thought Derek would always be something of a liability, but I kept that to myself for now. Seb didn’t need to hear my bitching about the guy. “I hope we can trust him.”
“If he’s pulling something on us…” Seb tailed off.
“Clara can’t detect that. I don’t really think he is, but for some reason I’m finding it very hard to fully trust him.”
“For some reason being because he’s so easily duped you aren’t sure he’s not still working for a demon without knowing it.”
That was the most charitable face to put on my fears. So, for now, I just nodded in semi-agreement.
“I’m going to track down some chocolate ice cream,” Seb added. “I think Clara will need it and the rest of us…”
“…will never turn it down.” I grinned at him. “Just don’t put cayenne in it or you’ll attract Loki.”
“I don’t think they sell it that way.” He ducked out, heading for a convenience store to stock up on ice cream. Leaving me alone with my thoughts.
Well, maybe not entirely alone. I glanced at the door, knowing they’d be a while yet, then stepped outside myself. It was a hot day, summer in full force. Muggy, too. The threat of rain that might not actually come for days.
I was used to that by now. I looked up at a sky that had a few drifting clouds in it and thought that this world was still worth protecting.
Even, perhaps, from itself.