My name is Mason Nicholas Matthews, the last of my father's prestigious line of arcanally-inclined children and the least adept at anything slightly sorcerish. That is to say I dropped out of Wizarding School in my second year and took up Criminal Justice. After applying myself, somewhat, to that discipline I emerged with an Associate's Degree in psychology and opened up a private eye agency on the corner of 125th and Westbury Row with my child-hood friend, Simon. Apart from being mostly mundane and suffering from a dangerous lack of motivation as well as moral, I do have a special talent that serves me great purpose. Once daily, I can make any person desire anything and agree to my terms in order to obtain it. Petty objects like the trash in the gutter, the chance to see Simon water his pepper plants, public information about the weather—I've got it and you'll want it. There are rules to be considered when using this ability, and the consequences may never be the same if I slip up, but for the most part I'm one hell of a businessman.
My father so very often tells me that magic is a booming industry and that I've cursed myself to a life of struggle and poverty. I would agree, but if only for different reasons. You see, kind reader, I share the upper loft of the agency building with Simon, Bootsie, and Mia. Who is Bootsie? Easy—Bootsie is a cat as well as Mia's familiar. Who is Mia? My cousin and a promising young witchling. Can either help pay the rent? Hell no, and I don't blame them, but it is incredibly hard when our only source of income is taking up whatever investigative jobs there are that cannot be solved by casting "scan" and or "find person".
Snow was coming down in sheets last week when I forced my way into the agency. Simon was going over the ledger with cup of tea in hand as Mia played with Bootsie in front of the hearth. I quickly made my way over the fire to cast off my soaked hat and jacket, sitting down to warm my near frozen bits and pieces.
"Yeah," Simon said looking up from a legal pad drenched in red ink, "We're probably going to need to get more money sometime soon—like yesterday."
"Gee," I said as I rubbed my still chilly arms, "Let me just contact the Money Fairy and ask for a blessing. We had fifth period Horology together back in school."
Mia picked up Bootsie and held him towards my face, "Me and Bootsie can help!"
Simon nodded, "We could upload video of Bootsie doing cute stuff to the internet and then place ads on the page."
I rolled my eyes at this, "You know, Mia, if we're going to be feeding your familiar, which technically is a being of pure magic and therefore should not even require food to survive, then perhaps he could do something magical every now and then."
Mia shrugged, "Me and Bootsie are a team! I handle the magic, and he finds the clues."
I leaned forward towards them, "Perfect then. Bootsie, your first job as a useless animal detective, should you wish to accept it, is to find us some money," and was promptly scratched across my face.
While I was in the bathroom attempting to wash the pain from my face, a customer walked in. Usually a bell hanging from the door dings, and the associates inside greet the prospective client in a professional and dignified manner. Not here. Not at the Westbury Eye Agency. Simon stood up, knocking his chair over, and vaulted the desk. Mia kind of pulled it off, if not a bit too heavy with the whole "Can I take your hat? Can I take your jacket? Are you cold? Are you wet? Would you like to sit down? Would you like to sit down near the fire?" deal. Bootsie just meowed like he'd been starved for days, circling her feet and pleading in Catonese. Me? I watched this circus act from the bathroom door in silence. The only way that I was going out there was if the client wasn't going freak out and run.
Amazingly enough they got her to take a seat in front of the desk. Our future client sat in the high back leather seat that had taken a large chunk out of the food budget, which Mia assured us would "hook customers, line and sinker", and put her hands in her lap.