“Maev.” Owen whispered. “Is Silvia you mother?”
They were sitting in the back seat of Mr Oakwood’s car, travelling down the motorway towards school. Maev’s father was driving and Mrs Oakwood sat in the passenger seat. They had not spoken a word to each other apart from a terse greeting at the pub.
“Yeah, she is.” Maev replied.
“Are your parents divorced?”
“No, just separated. Mum works in London.”
Owen began to think about his own parents. They were currently in the process of getting a divorce. He thought that his own situation was better. At least his parents seemed to finally be getting along with each other, while Maev’s could not seem to make eye contact without glaring.
“So, what do you know about magic?” Owen asked.
Thinking about his parents was making his eyes sting, not crying but merely the distant threat of tears. He wanted to talk about something else to distract his mind. But as soon as he mentioned magic, a strange look came over Maev’s face. She looked skeptical, pursing her lips on one side of her face. It made her already mousy features look even more rodent-like.
“Dad told me a few things after the police left the shop. He said all kinds of things about powerful objects and people who can use them. He said magic is wonderful, a gift. I don’t know though, how can it be real?”
For a brief moment, Mrs Oakwood’s sharp face turned to throw them a severe look over the back of her seat. Owen dropped his voice to a barely audible hiss.
“Your mum said magic is dangerous… And what about my pocket watch? You saw what it did in the shop.”
“I don’t know. I don’t really want to talk about it.”
An ominous, cold silence fell over the occupants of the car as the red brick chimneys of the school loomed above the treeline in the distance.
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