I have discovered that Asta might be my favorite Aunt. The more I write about her and her “placeholder” status, the more I like her.
This takes place maybe 5 years before Evangaline becomes Aunt, so in the 2000’s. We have not met Will before.
“Oh, dear.” Asta patted her nephew’s shoulder gingerly. “Not again?”
Will sighed and looked out the window. “Again. I managed to cover it up, the way you showed me…”
“But if this keeps happening, eventually the grandmothers and the mothers and the fussbudgets down at church are going to figure it out, no matter how small-minded they are,” Asta finished with a sigh. “And then they’re going to give you Willard’s choice.”
It was almost the same name, even. Asta wondered about that, and William’s mother’s prescience. It wasn’t like they didn’t sometimes See things, in their family.
“When it’s behaving, I like it. And when we tried that tea you brewed up, I felt like the world was all clogged up and I couldn’t see anything.” He shrugged his shoulders angrily. “I’d run away from home but I’d probably blow up the train.”
“None of that,” Asta tutted. “You’re not running away; they’d only ask me to find you anyway.”
He eyed her uncertainly. “Would you?”
“Oh, I’d take my time at it. They think I’m slow, you know. I might as well be slow, then, when it suits me. But yes, I’d go find you eventually, because it’s better me than someone else, and you know it. No.” She shook her head and let out a long sigh. “Running off is not going to suit you, and it’s not going to work. It’ll only bring unwanted attention all around, and that, I’m fairly certain, none of us want.”
“N… no,” he admitted. “I don’t want them -”
“You don’t want to be neutered, and who could blame you, but you don’t want people noticing these nocturnal emissions, either. Oh, don’t give me that look. I may be old but I wasn’t born that way, and I may be an Aunt but nobody said maiden aunt, at least not in a long time.”
He cleared his throat and looked away. “Yes, um. Yes, ma’am. So… what?”
“So we’re going to hide your magic, where you can get to it when you can need it and nobody else can. Now, this is a tricky bit of work. Lucky for us you have power.” She patted his arm. “And lucky for both of us I like wood-turning. Now, this set of pens is going with you to college. To your first job. Everywhere. I don’t think I have to impose on you not to lose them.”
Will looked down at the pens. They were quite nice, and if he had any sense, which he did, he could tell from the feel of them that the wood had come off of family land. “You’re… making me a pair of magic wands.”
“I am.” Asta’s eyes twinkled. “I might just be your fairy godmother.”