‘Well, clearly she wasn’t happy, and clearly you’re full of shit,’ spat Juno. ‘Hey, let’s try you on something else. Why didn’t they…’ – she indicated my silent aunt and dad – ‘…show up in my crystal ball, when they ain’t even got a manual to tell them about the protective spell? And while we’re on the subject, why is it that everybody’s ex-directory? Why don’t witches and warlocks wanna meet up? We met up, and we get on fine! Fine!

A pained expression crossed Rolf’s face. He stood still as a statue for long seconds, his beard gently moving in the breeze. ‘Alright,’ he said then, looking Aurelia right in the eyes. ‘I’ll spell it out. On my head be it. A lot of witches have ended badly. Badly. Warlocks too, but there aren’t that many. You lot are foundlings, so you don’t know about anything that’s been going on. There aren’t that many foundlings either. And some of them…’ – he frowned at Juno – ‘…produce a proper manual.’ His eyes were drawn back to Aurelia. ‘But right now your kind have come to understand what’s been going wrong. This is the best time ever to be a witch or warlock, really. You’ve got a chance. But only if you… keep the balance. Let life in. You won’t find any witches in the big cities right now. A few foundlings here and there, maybe…’ Rolf seemed distracted by the setting sun. He considered it while nobody spoke, before his distant gaze returned to Aurelia. ‘You’re lucky, you’ve got a husband…’ At this he suddenly came to, with an uneasy air. ‘I should go now,’ he said abruptly. ‘Good-bye. Heed my advice.’ Gone he was.

A moment later he was back. ‘Oh, and watch him,’ he said, nodding towards me. ‘He doesn’t have the endorsement either. He’s got class A in exaltation.’

This time he didn’t return. The wrestling instantly recommenced. ‘What a loada crap! “Let life in!” I’ve heard more sense from tripping hippies in California,’ said Juno as she took me back from Aurelia, who still hadn’t spoken a word.