“Now remember, this is not going to be a cure-all, and it might do something you don’t expect. Be careful, and don’t get caught.”
“Thanks, Aunt Eva.” Chalcedony slid the little vial into a side pocket in her purse, ignoring the looks her brother was giving her from the passenger seat of her car. “Thanks for waiting, Stone.”
“Still better than the bus. What…?”
“Olivia. More to the point, Dan Williams.”
“… Chalce…?” Stone raised his eyebrows. She ignored him, or at least pretended to, as she got her car onto the road and headed towards school.
She wasn’t going to be able to ignore him forever. When she turned onto the main road, she cleared her throat and tried to answer.
“Olivia. She doesn’t have what we do. She just got here, she doesn’t have family, she doesn’t have -”
“An Aunt who makes magic potions?”
“It’s not a magic potion, it’s just-”
“I didn’t think you did those things.” He sounded tense. He wasn’t looking at her. “Potions.”
Chalcedony felt ridiculously guilty and a little bit angry about the whole thing. “Look. It’s the centering agent for an empathy spell. So, whenever his actions – Dan’s – cause someone to feel strongly, he’ll feel it too. Like she said, it’s not a panacea, but it might make him dial it down a notch or two.”
“Without turning him into a frog.” Stone wrinkled his nose.
“Do you even know how to do that? I mean, everyone says…”
“Chalce.” At least Stone had relaxed. At least he was smiling now. “We are not turning anyone into a frog.”
“So you’re okay with this?”
“Unless it blows up, in which case I deny all involvement forever.”
“That’s what I expect, little brother.”
They drove on in much better spirits, towards a Dan Williams who had no idea what was coming for him.