I was a member of a circle. The circle practiced real, working magic. My circle had been started by a man who was having marital troubles and problems with the circle to which he and his wife had belonged. The new circle was "Blue Circle"; his old one was "Red Circle". He was worried that Red Circle had started practicing black magic. He had two young daughters and his wife was pregnant now.
He1 was driving a car, and I was the passenger. We pulled into his driveway and parked in the garage at his house. The rest of Blue Circle was camped out on the lawn nearby. No one was in the house, but for some reason we weren't supposed to go inside. But the man was tired and frustrated and wanted to go home. So we walked to the side door. As he was putting his hand to the knob, it opened from the inside.
His wife stood in the doorway, resting her hands on her swollen baby, smirking at him. With her was a dark-haired man that we suspected was her lover. They weren't supposed to be in the house; it was a bad sign that they were. She told her husband, "It's a boy. You'll finally have a son."
He looked tired and wary at this revelation. We were worried that she was going to do something sinister as regarded this child -- not harm the baby, but that Red Circle planned ritual torture or sacrifice of some other party, to ensure the health of her unborn baby, and to give it power.
The wife went on, "You need to name his family."
This was terribly important, and it followed the lines of our fears. The baby's "family" would be under protection; Red Circle would not be able to sacrifice or harm anyone that was named as family to the child. At least not for the "benefit" of the baby.
The husband said. "All right. Let's see. You. Me. Our daughters -- "
"Our daughters?" She looked angry and sullen. "Must you name them, those girls who failed you, who kept us from having a son?"
That hurt, though she shouldn't have been able to hurt him any more. She thought he was desperate for a son, but he didn't care. He loved his daughters. He looked at her. Just looked at her.
"Very well." She sighed. "The daughters. Who else?"
"Red Circle. And Blue Circle."
I sighed with inner relief. We were safe now. She scowled, but the man with her looked both annoyed and satisfied. "All right. Let's go." He turned to close the door.
As he turned, we could see that on the back of his head was a mark, a thatch of grey hair. That thatch of grey was a sign of several things, and we knew it as soon as we saw it. It meant that he had been practicing black magic, and that he'd taken part in the spell Red Circle was weaving over the wife's unborn child. It meant that he was her lover.
It meant that he was a member of Red Circle, and that the husband had just named him as family to the unborn child, and placed him under protection.
As this sensation of numb horror sank into us -- what had he done? -- the husband was also filled with sudden rage. He pulled back his hand to strike the lover.
That's where I woke up.
1: As a token of the peculiarities of dreams, at the time that the car pulled into the garage, "he" was a woman, "I" was another woman, and "we" may have been lovers. And I put "I" in quotes because the dream went back and forth between first and third person. At a few points, I'm pretty sure that I was identifying myself with the variable-gender driver. Including points at which he was male. My dreams are like this.