Juno’d stopped listening properly ’round about the moment Rolf had said the words ‘proper Magic’. She slowly approached the door. ‘Why haven’t I been able to do proper Magic before?’ she demanded to know as she treaded on the step and a gust hit her hard.
‘Because you were a child,’ answered Rolf impatiently over the howling of the wind. ‘A child is not allowed to pay.’
‘Magic has a price on this world where you live, my dear. Always, always be certain how much you want to pay.’ Rolf looked like a man who was ready to slip into something more comfortable. ‘Well, that’s it really. I’ll let you get on with your par–– …’
‘But I got loadsa questions!’ shrieked Juno.
‘Yes, well, what foundling witches normally do is that they use their new powers to…’ Juno’s Sorcery Council rep made a vague stirring movement in the air with his staff-free hand. ‘…hex themselves a bit of a manual. Incidentally, is that a root beer I see? I do hope you wouldn’t consider it impertinent if I were so bold as to…’
Juno, who had words like ‘umbrella organization’ and ‘powers that be’ buzzing around her head, gazed distractedly at the bottle in her hand and said, ‘What?’
‘Thank you,’ said Rolf, leaned across the threshold and took the root beer from Juno’s limp fingers. Dazzled, she watched him pop the cap and guzzle it back.
‘Well, I must be going,’ said Rolf as he handed the empty bottle back to Juno. ‘Good luck with your witching, dear. Have a nice life.’ And with that he’d vanished.
‘Hey, Juno,’ said Doris seconds later. ‘I meant a full root beer!’
‘Go get it yourself,’ said Juno, and like some Hollywood diva she left her own party.