When Dane takes time during the week to have tea and scones with Haddy and Maddy, he finds out that Minerva ( Minnie) used to be part of their circle. That was until Bella Nightshade took an interest. As thick as thieves they became, and then that nasty Mr. “Mick” Clovis showed up. He was a friend or associate of Bella’s from Trierzon, a nasty man, some sort of traveling merchant. The three of them were together all the time. Just something unwholesome about that Mick. God only knows what diseases he might have been carrying.
Minnie complained about a mouse problem in her kitchen which quickly escalated to a rat problem in the cellar. She posted up at the school for help. This was all weeks before you and your friends arrived.
Then something happened between Bella and the school and Bella left under a dark cloud. Kicked out is more likely, but who knows about such things. Mick hung around for a awhile and then he and his cart disappeared and Minnie was alone. She never returned to the her old friends but just seemed preoccupied whenever we saw her. Haunted really, if you ask me. I thought that nasty man left her in a bad way and then disappeared. But who knows. Then one morning, her store didn’t open and nobody saw her again… until last night that is. We thought maybe she went to be with family, but of course we just let it be. Not for us to pry.