That question stayed on my mind. I hoped I had time. I hoped even people like this wouldn’t be irresponsible enough to try and recruit while they had an angry ghost picking them off.
At least he and I had something resembling a truce. He’d settle for them being dealt with by some means that didn’t involve death, and he’d leave the woman alone once he was satisfied.
Bruce was the person I needed to talk to. I headed to Old Town after school, flakes of snow drifting around me. I felt an odd kind of responsibility for this deep winter; even though I knew I hadn’t done it, it somehow felt like it was connected to me.
Or I to it. Maybe I just liked winter. Maybe I had brought it by subconsciously wanting it. Old Town was pretty with snow resting on the ground. A snuffling bulldog wearing a coat and booties lifted his head and wagged what tail he had at me.
I glanced at the owner, then offered a petting. He pushed his head against me and wagged about half of his body.
It made me feel better. “He’s adorable.”
The owner grinned. “He’s shameless, is what he is.”
But there’s nothing like a cute dog to elevate one’s mood. Or a cute cat. Either way.
Reluctantly, I abandoned the bulldog, who snuffled after me pathetically, then went back to padding through the snow. Looking for more marks, no doubt.
The magic store was open, its lights bright and cheerful across the street. I stamped the snow off my boots before stepping inside.
Only to find Clara browsing the shelves. Oops.
“Hey!” she called brightly, apparently having seen me out of the corner of her eye.
I wandered over. “What are you reading?”
“I was looking at this, but it’s written for teens by somebody who thinks we’re 12.”
I laughed. “Been there, done that. Besides, I doubt people put real magic in books anybody can buy.”
“Probably not, but how else am I going to learn anything?”
“If you’re serious, one of the guys who works here…I was looking for him…knows some good people.”
Yeah. I was going to try my best to fob her off on Bruce. Or Prue. “There’s also a girl at school, but I can’t really say who without checking with her first.”
“What about you?” Hopeful, puppy-dog eyes turned towards me.
“I’m not a witch.”
And at that point, Bruce came out of the back room.