In sisterly fashion, Andi added, “Even if you do have all the puzzle pieces, you’re not putting them in the right order.”
“Speaking of things not being in the right order, I have to ask a favor.”
“If anything should happen to me, will you take Ambrose for your apprentice?”
Andi’s hazel eyes widened with alarm. “What do you think is going to happen to you?”
“Nothing. I’m just taking precautions. Ambrose likes you. His…family situation is complicated, but nothing you can’t handle.”
Andi only looked more worried. “You’re going to talk to your aunt Iolanthe, aren’t you?”
“I have to. If only to clear her of suspicion in my own mind.”
“I don’t like this. I really don’t like this.”
“You just told me you’re sure Aunt I had nothing to do with Maman’s predicament.”
Andi stared at me, then sighed. “I did, didn’t I? And I do believe that. So, yes. If something happens to you—and nothing better had—I promise to take Ambrose as my apprentice.”
“Thank you. And—again, this is just a precaution—if something happens to me and Maman does not return, will you protect Jinx?”
Andi’s jaw dropped. “Protect Jinx from what?”
“I’m not sure. Maman thought part of why she was summoned before le Conseil Savant was her decision to…take Jinx under her wing. If she’s right, then it’s possible the Société might pose some threat to Jinx.”
Andi closed her mouth. She considered in silence. Finally, she said, “Jinx hates me. She’s not going to accept my protection.”
“Jinx is jealous of you. That’s not the same thing.”
“It’s close to the same thing. Also, John is never in a million years going to let me tutor Jinx in the Craft.”
“Jinx is her own person, but that’s not what I’m asking. I know that would go against your own beliefs. I just want you to keep an eye out for her. She’s kind of between two worlds, and there isn’t anyone who understands what that’s like better than you.”
Andi glanced instinctively at the vintage Valentine pinned over her desk.
Valentine, you BEWITCH me!
They hadn’t even known each other long enough celebrate an actual Valentine’s day together, but there it was. He had even chosen something witch-themed.
She gave me a long, silent look. She nodded. “Not subtle, but okay. I promise, if necessary, to act as Jinx’s fairy godmother.” She sighed. “Anybody else you want me to take under my wing?”
“Well, Pyewacket might n—”
Andi rose—and so did her voice. “Oh no. No you don’t. That’s it! Cosmo, you darn well better get home safely or else!”
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