Their eyes locked over the gorgonzola piccante.

“Yes, it was an exciting time,” smiled Sir John. “As you say, the Societe were largely buffoons, and I was all but giving up on them when we met. Then we started all those experiments, trying to build devices that could detect paranormal activity.”

“And all that time, I wanted to tell you about me,” said Marie. “About the powers I had. But, it seemed a strange thing to say at first, and then it got harder and harder to speak. I hoped at first that you would be able to help me find out more about myself, but then I found myself wishing for something different.”

Sir John held out his hand next to the Camembert de Normandie, and Marie reached and held it.

“Me too,” he said. “I was so pleased when we became partners, not just in paranormal investigation, but in romance.”

“And by then, it was impossible to tell you,” said Marie.

There was a pause.

“I have one question, Marie,” said Sir John. “The early investigations, before I knew, how much was the devices and how much was … you.”

“I … helped a little,” said Marie, “at the haunting. But you found the body after all, and even the villain of the piece.”

“And in Manchester?” said Sir John. “It was me that stopped Clackprattle, wasn’t it.”

“Well, yes,” said Marie, “but there is more you must know. This is important. Clackprattle isn’t the mastermind, Pook is.”

“That little twerp?” said Sir John.

“Yes, that little twerp is a magical creature, a pookah,” said Marie. “A kind of trickster that plays with people’s lives. He manipulated Clackprattle in Manchester and I imagine again in London. He is wrapped up with these Draco Viridis cult people, and I’m worried about what he will do. You remember at the end, when Clackprattle seized the Summum Malorum? Something happened to him. Something that can only be bad.”

Sir John nodded gravely.

“Yes, I thought there was something strange happening there,” he said. “I noticed Pook shouting, but I didn’t make the connection. Not for the first time, obviously…”

Marie’s head dropped.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…” said Sir John. “I meant that, that I should have seen these things. I’m an investigator, and, and your husband, and you were in danger because I didn’t see what you were. Who you are.”

Mon cher, I hid this from you,” said Marie. “The fault is with me.”

“No, it’s not,” said Sir John. “Not at all.”

Both the couple looked at their plates. There was another pause which was interrupted by Miss Henderson struggling to bring in a large plate filled with chocolate covered balls.

Prophet-a-Holes,” she said. She looked at the couple who both smiled distantly at her, sadness in their eyes.

“Tomorrow I shall cook us a nice turkey roast,” she said, by way of compensation and left with the half-eaten cheese board.

paprol5“Prophet-a-Holes”

“You know what we need to do,” said Sir John. “What you wanted me to do from the start.”

“What is that, mon cher,” said Marie.

“In the New Year, straightaway we shall leave for Paris. We shall go back to where this all started and we shall find out where you came from, how you got these powers, and what they are for once and for all!”

Oui, mon cher!” said Marie beaming at him. In triumph Sir John speared a chocolate ball with a fork, and cream spurted out onto his face.

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