“You made a Fairy Oath,” hissed Lillyana, on the way home. “What is wrong with you? You can’t just do things like that. There are CONSEQUENCES.”
“I was a child and so what? Sparrow and I can be friends forever.”
“Well, JO JO,” she said. “That was a rather OPEN ENDED oath, and FRIENDSHIP FOREVER can mean a lot of different things where I come from.”
“Don’t care,” said Joey. “And Jo Jo was her nickname for me.”
“I gathered that.”
“I don’t know why you’re so upset.”
“That’s because you don’t know anything about fairies.”
“Maybe she’ll find out something about my parents and who I am.”
“Maybe. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have her asking questions about you and then you just HAD TO SING A FAIRY SONG an alert everyone you were back.”
“Wow,” he said. “You’re such an alarmist. Maybe only good things will come of this.”
She laughed so hard, she snorted, excused herself, and then did it again. “I AM A FAIRY, so I know what I’m talking about. Everything is a trap. Nothing good EVER comes from making an oath with us.”
“Well, I’ll just have to wait and see, won’t I,” he said calmly.
“Indeed you will.”
The Magical Apothecary was crowded, when they got back. Diana looked relieved to see him and he started to work immediately. Chester, greeted him and Midnight opened his eyes, which was as much of a hello as he was willing to give during an attempted nap on top of his favorite bookshelf.
“Are you okay?” asked Diana, waving good bye to Mrs. Lavender.
“Yes, but Lillyana is waiting for something weird, or terrible to happen.”
“I’ll tell you when we have more time.”
The day went by quickly. People were talking about Cormick and some trouble they thought was brewing. One or two customers asked if Diana would set up a couple of tables and chairs, in front of the shop. They thought it would be nice if they had a small coffee station and sold cookies. Diana said she would think about it.
“You know,” said Ms Cottonwood, “the shop has become a meeting place. It’s a community center that not only sells everything we need, it’s where we can be with kindred spirits.”
“That’s very kind of you,” said Diana, “but it’s not a cafe.”
“It could be,” said Ms. Cottonwood. “I know someone downtown who could rush through a license for you, and Mr. Stewert knows everything about equipment for restaurants. It wouldn’t take up much space, maybe just the corner over there. Outside tables in the summer and inside during the winter.”
Joey smiled at her and said, “Very good idea. Thank you. I’m sure Diana will take it into consideration.”
“Okay, dear,” she said, patting his hand. “It would be lovely.”
“I don’t want to turn this place into a cafe,” she whispered to him, watching Ms. Cottonwood walk away. “It’s an Apothecary, not a deli.”
“I know,” said Joey. “They don’t want a deli, just some coffee, tea, and a few cookies, so they can chat and talk about our merchandise. We can sell mugs with the name of the shop on them.”
“So you think it’s a good idea?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s just something to think about. Look at all the people in here. It would be an expense to set it up, but it would be a steady income as well, to say nothing about drawing in more customers.”
“I don’t know.”
“Just think about it,” he said. “Either way, things will work out.”
“Okay,” sighed Diana. “Can you handle this crowd? I have ten new potion orders and I’d like to get started on them. A couple of them are quiet complex.”
“Sure,” he said. “I’ve got this.”
People made purchases, asked questions, wanted help, and advice, ordered potions, spells, and put in special orders for books and other necessities. Joey was enjoying himself, as things started to die down and night began to fall, the crowd thinned to nothing. When everyone was gone, he began to clean up and put things back in order, re-shelving books, fluffing up cushions and watering the plants.
He looked up when the bell on the door rang and a man said, “I heard you were looking for me.”