Nick has a hard time adjusting to sharing a house with Mae and Jamie, though he's glad to share a room with Alan, who has nightmares every night thanks to his second tier mark.
Alan, of course, loves having Mae and Jamie around, which makes Nick even more resentful of their presence.
Nick learns from Jamie that the Crawford kids (Mae and Jamie) are just as alone as the Ryves brothers. Their parents are pretty self-absorbed, and since they're divorced, they haven't even noticed Mae and Jamie have run away—each parent thinks the kids are at the other parent's house, and they haven't bothered to check up on them at all.
Nick bonds a little (more or less) with Jamie over cooking omelets—which Jamie is horrible at—and Nick tells him a little more about magicians: that they're power hungry, that some are successful politicians or actors, and that some are regular people "who just happen to have the ability to change shape or control the weather" (7.45).
As days pass, Nick realizes that Mae and Jamie have become acquainted with Mum/Olivia, which makes him uneasy. No one—not even Merris Cromwell—has ever known about her because she was once a magician. Now Mae visits her regularly.
Nick gets angry about Mae's casual relationship with Mum one night at dinner and things get tense. Mae stomps out. Jamie suggests Nick could apologize to her, and Nick makes an attempt. They chat, and things get flirty (and even a little steamy) until Nick remembers Alan's feelings for Mae and backs away.
Instead of making out, Mae helps Nick with his English homework (at Alan's suggestion). When the lights go out, things border on steamy again (this chapter is a rollercoaster of hormones), but then Nick goes to check on Alan.
Alan's fine. He's looking at maps and making plans by candlelight. They call Mae and Jamie to join them and Alan lets everyone in on his idea. The Obsidian Circle is surely setting up a summoning circle near Stonehenge (since it's a powerful magical place and not too far away), so they should be able to capture a couple of magicians near there.
Things seem to be looking up until Nick notices Alan shoving the book with the picture out of sight and realizes his brother's still trying to keep the picture secret.
Later on Alan tells Nick that he's hoping he and Mae might have a chance as a couple when all of this is over.
Nick turns away, disgusted with his brother's constant pining for a relationship, and when he turns back he sees Alan reaching under his pillow to touch his stupid book—the one with the picture—as if it's comforting to him in some way.