Avis Blackthorn and the Magical Multicolour Jumper (The Wizard Magic School Series, Book 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avis
Blackthorn

and the

Magical Multicolour Jumper

 

(Book 2)

 

Jack Simmonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright
© 2015 Jack Simmonds

All rights reserved.

First edition.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Author, except where permitted by law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before
you start…

 

I just wanted to make sure that you have already read the first book in the series?

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

The Return of the Brothers

 

Hello
. My name is Avis Blackthorn and I am thirteen years old. I belong to what is, the most evil family in all of the Seven Magical Kingdoms and even, perhaps, in all of your kingdoms too. We call your world the
Outside
. My best friend Robin is from there, a place called
Yorkshire
? He goes to the same school as me — Hailing Hall School for Wizards — I started last year and it was my sanctuary. A sanctuary from my evil family with whom I play a constant battle, because I am not like them. Not at all. My parents and nine siblings are all very evil and work for Malakai — the most powerful, evil Sorcerer ever known — well, they did, until I defeated him at the end of last year.

My family hate me because I am not evil. I am treated like the runt, kept away at parties in case I embarrass them in front of all the other Malakai supporters. Some would disagree when I say
I am not evil —
only because of what happened in first year — I was set up. Framed for the attack of one of my friends by no lesser than the most evil and high lord of darkness (or whatever it was he called himself), Malakai. Fortunately, and with a great deal of luck and bluffing, I, yes me, managed to defeat him! In the process I saved Tina Partington and her brother Ernie Partington, who was a ghost for ten years and is thankfully, now a human again. It was my best friend Robin who saved the day, he raised Ernie and me back to our bodies! No mean feat, let me tell you.

Right now, I am scrubbing the floor high up in one of the twelve turrets. It’s absolutely filthy! I mean black with dirt. I doubt it’s ever been cleaned. This is not a voluntary decision either, I am being held at spell-point, practically, by my parents who need the castle to be in ship shape ready for a thousand or so guests to turn up for the wedding of the bloody year. My sister Marianne and her poor deluded Prince finance are getting married in the grounds of our castle
Darkhampton
. She has him under a love spell I just know it. My parents encourage them who to marry — usually rich and influential families to increase their own reach and power. I heard that the family of the prince are really angry, they want nothing to do with us, knowing its a scam.

So far over the past week I’ve scrubbed floors, dusted every wooden surface within a four mile radius, whacked every drape to within an inch of its life, then dusted again as centuries of dust and muck came spewing out everywhere… I mean it really is the dirtiest castle ever! I finished each day without a thanks and looking like a Slackerdown Yeti (black, dirty, and very, very moody.) And I did all this cleaning without magic! My parents don’t trust me, and… I don’t have a bloody channeller do I! If you don’t know, a channeller is a thing that allows you to do magic, as per the name, you channel magic through it. If you don’t you could blow yourself up. I had one at the start of last year from the schools lost property. Which turned out to be the young Malakai’s! That’s how I worked out how to defeat him, he had his True Name written on it in hidden ink. I used his True Name to defeat him — the most evil Sorcerer ever, in all of history! And now I’m scrubbing floors. Mind you, if my parents ever find out what I did I would be in for a fate worse than death. They absolutely love him, and would do anything he asks. I wondered if they knew he had even been defeated? To be fair, they were rushing round the castle every minute of the day making beds up for guests, decorating, organising the chefs and all stuff like that.

 

Let me zap back a week and tell you what happened after I got out the carriage on the way back from school. I had fallen asleep in the plush ceremonial carriage pulled magically through the sky without any horses and started dreaming about killer rainbows that began attacking me… (I know, but it had been a stressful year). I woke just as we pulled up over my home and castle, Darkhampton, as my parents insist on calling it. I forgot how dark and gloomy it looked, it’s held in a perpetual cycle of darkness while sunlight passes right around it. No trees, no plants, in fact, life was barely visible as I gazed down, the old feelings of being mistreated by my big evil family crept over me again. I suppose I’d got used to living in comfort, Hailing Hall had life, sunlight, walking trees, talking statues, the place buzzed with life… this was… deader than a lump of spent charcoal.

I was curious when the ceremonial carriage pulled up for me outside the school (and a little anxious), for I was rarely treated to such comfort by my parents. It was certainly suspicious. Just in case though, when I was in the carriage I put on my new, centuries old Seven League Shoes— a gift from the Lily, the Headmaster of Hailing Hall. I had no flipping clue how they worked, but according to the myth, they allow you to… it’s either walk great distances fast, or run away quicker than you are normally able to… something like that.

When we touched onto the baron carriageway outside the drawbridge front door, my Dad rushed out to greet me… which was odd.

“Oh Ross, there you are…” he barked, not looking. “Quickly, quickly we need the carriage to go and pick up Wilso— you’re not Ross! Avis?” He said looking down his nose at me with a scrunched up bearded face. “This wasn’t for you… Oh well… get inside quickly!”

So a lovely warm welcome home for me after nearly a year away. I traipsed into the big Hall — a huge space that they use for receptions and parties, with a couple of big fireplaces, the biggest staircase you’ve ever seen and all adorned with stuffed magical animals in undignified poses on plinths. The room was miserable, the carpet was the only colour, blood red of course… but it was miserable because the walls were full of paintings of old, mostly dead family members — none of whom were smiling. We have a long history of evil family members and its rather uncouth to smile, or be in any way charismatic, humorous or nice.

“There you are,” said a spiky high voice. It was my Mother, scaring the hell out of me as she popped into existence out of nowhere. “Come on Avis! Bags down, lets get to work…” she clicked her bony fingers and a rusty mop and bucket appeared in front of me.

“Erm…” I squeaked under her dark stare.

“I trust you know how to use it?” she smiled viciously. “Start in the turrets, immediately.” With a puff of dark vile smelly smoke she vanished. Well, she hadn’t changed, not at all. My Mother was still tall, thin and haughty with a face like thunder, all sharp and pointed as if she’s got a lemon wedged up the back of her throat. And she was bossy. I sighed and made my way up to the turrets — I certainly didn't have the guts to defy her.

My
parents grudgingly allowed me meal breaks in between all the scrubbing. Believe me I tried to get out of it, but they seemed to know when I was slacking… I had just started a particularly stubborn black corridor, and thought I would have a sit down. My body ached, every muscle pleaded with me to stop and as I sat against the wall my consciousness slipped into a deep sleep, before out of nowhere a burst of bright blue electricity struck my bottom!


AHH
!” I called.

“Get to work!” called my Fathers voice along the hallway. Seriously? I mean come on! I needed a break. Why did they have to have the wedding here anyway? I felt like Cinderella, being treated like a slave! Mind you, I could do what she did… sue her family and live in comfort for the rest of her life on the settlement. Apparently it bankrupted that family and they all had to move into a council flat with relatives on the
Outside
. I imagined my parents all living in a tiny flat after I sued them for mistreatment. I held onto this fuzzy dream as I scrubbed and scrubbed.

During one meal break sitting at the huge long table in the Hall eating my hard, mouldy cheese and bread that Butler Kilkenny brought me — there was a great big noise from the carriageway outside. Like a thunder clap my parents appeared out of nowhere by the front door. The drawbridge lowered and in walked my eldest three brothers Wilson, Simon and Harold.

“Mamma!” they cooed, doing air kisses for about ten minutes. My brothers entourages then proceeded to go back and forth to the carriages bringing in box after box of stuff and piling it up in the hall.

“You can’t leave them all there,” said Mother, snapping at one of the men who was sweating profusely as he lugged the heavy boxes.

“Where would you like us to put them ma’am?”

Simon, the second oldest and dimmest, said: “In our rooms of course… oh, we don’ have rooms yet. What rooms Avis in?” I sighed and sank a little lower down the table, but not before Wilson spotted me.

“Avis!” he called, their beady evil eyes coming to rest on me. “Which room are you in?”

“I don’t know what room it is,” I lied. “You can’t have it anyway… I’m in there, why do you want it?”

“Because, we’ve travelled an awfully long way,” said Simon. “And must rest.”

“We are guests,” said Harold grinning. “Only fair we get pick of the rooms and if your in it, that is rather unfortunate.” I smiled at them as best I could, there was no point arguing with these three. Wilson looked like a dog with a smashed in face, due to a fight with a Wolfraptor. He wore blood red ceremonial gowns with gold trimmings… I rather thought he looked like a baboon in a cape. Simon was simple, very simple, when he looks at you there’s clearly nothing much there. He’s dead behind the eyes and brainless — slime always drips from the corner of his mouth and his choice of clothes is beyond strange. Today’s selection is: chrome trousers with a neon yellow shirt and pastel green trimmings. All the brains went to Harold, he is exceptionally clever and cunning, I would never, ever decide on him as an enemy — he’s the one sibling I am most scared of.

“Let me vanish all the stuff from my room first,” I said.

“No, no,” said Wilson. “Leave it, I want to have a play with it.”

I grimaced. “Well you can’t, it’s mine,” I called. Mother turned and caught me with a piercing stare.

“Don’t argue Avis. Family dinner starts at seven,” she announced before disappearing.

 

***

 

I didn’t see any of my other siblings cleaning. They just stood around conversing with a few early arrived guests.

“Well, of course Mr. Vasbender,” said Wilson in a sickening voice. “The media know their role in the new situation. I am seeing a girl currently who is the executive manager of the Herrald. It helps.”

“Very good,” called Mr. Vasbender. “I suppose the illusion of it all will carry on making the intended effect.”

“Of course,” said Harold.

I pretended to be dusting the banisters again, so I could get a good listen to what they were talking about — hoping I would hear something about Malakai. Where was he? What was he doing? If anyone would know it would be these lot. A little twinge in my stomach rumbled, but it wasn’t food related, I was scared. Scared that Malakai would come for me and get revenge for what I did to him. Suddenly a great racket from one of the corridors caused everyone to turn and look. Gertrude and Wendice, were shouting at the top of their voices at each other.

“I WANT THE BLUE DRESS, IT LOOKS BETTER ON ME!”

“YOU LOOK FAT IN IT! I SHOULD HAVE IT!”

“GIVE IT TO ME!”

“NO! YOU GIVE IT TO ME!”

There was an awful tearing sound, and as they came into view in the Hall I saw them both holding one half of a flouncy blue dress. There was a rumble from somewhere deep, before the highest pitched squealing you’ve ever heard erupted round the Hall.


AHHHHHHHHH
!” they both screamed.

Guests and all manner of life that valued it’s hearing, covered their ears as the shrill, terrible noise made every bone in your body shudder for its life. In a scorch of black smoke Mother arrived. The screaming stopped.

“What on earth is happening here.”

“Wendice tore my dress in HALF!” Sobbed Gertrude. “You fat cow Wendic—”

“Enough of that,” Snapped Mother. “Give me it…” They both handed her the two parts, in a wave and a flash it sewed itself back together.

“Now,” she looked at the dress and then at the girls. “It will suit Wendice more, here…” she said, handing it to Wendice.

“But, but…” said Gertrude, her fat lip wobbling. “That’s… NOT
FAIRRRRRR
!”

“Oh for gods sake,” said Mother. “Get a grip of yourself girl, you’re too big for that dress… go and find something more suitable, a shower curtain or something.” In a puff of black smoke, she was off again. Now, as an Outsider you probably think that was harsh, your all very… what’s that phrase that Robin told me…
politically correct?
Which means you’re not allowed to say anything nasty to each other. But we are an
evil
family. Get used to it.

The Hall stood in silence for a bit, before my brothers began laughing. Gertrude ran off, well, more of a quick waddle, sobbing her eyes out as guests chuckled.

Wendice stood about smugly, waving her dress, before announcing: “You know actually I think she was right, I don’t think I like it,” with a click of her fingers, the blue dress caught fire and she dropped it on the floor, where it burned to a blue dust. “I’m going to find something nicer for the wedding.” She flounced off back the way she came smiling to herself. Wendice had changed — last year she was as fat as Gertrude, but now she was skinnier than me, with long hair and a golden complexion. It was quite a transformation. She was already saying she’d had twelve proposals for marriage. I hope she didn’t get married in the castle again, thats all I’m saying. I don’t fancy cleaning it all again!

When
they allowed me a toilet break, I raced back to my room and placed Sedrick, my teddy rabbit, inside my jacket. I had missed him — before, when it was just me on my own in the castle, I used to talk to him, sad I know, but I had no other friends. In my old school, down the road, everyone was too frightened to come here to play, knowing that my family was the most evil family ever.

I wondered what Robin and Tina and Ernie were doing. I would have loved to see Ernie’s face when he went back to his old house after all those year
s
— you see, last year I made friends with a young ghost, who, it turned out was the dead brother of Tina — he helped me defeat Malakai and Robin brought him back to life, all in the nick of time. He had been a ghost for ten years!

WHOOSH!

“OUCH!” I cried as a stinging electric bolt struck my bottom as Mothers voice rang true around this new room:


Get to work, there’s toilets need cleaning on the third floor!

For gods sake, when will this end!?

I carried the mop and bucket to the third floor and looked around for the toilets, they should be behind one of these doors. That’s the problem though, all the doors are the flipping same, so how am I supposed to tell where the toilets are? If
I
can’t find them, then I’m sure as hec a guest won’t.

But then a strange noise floated towards me — a scratching noise, water too…
slop, slap, scratch, scratch, scratch… slop, slap, scratch, scratch, scratch

it was coming from around the corner. Cautiously I poked my head round a stone effigy of a near relative and saw…

“Ross?” Whoops. I couldn’t help it, he was on all fours scrubbing the floor!

He looked up with bloodshot eyes, which winced as they saw me. He stood, clicked his fingers and the brush carried on scrubbing the floor. “There making
you
clean as well?”

“I was wondering when I might bump into you…”

“Why?” I said.

“Why?
Why
?” he said a little too loud, his face twitchy and dangerous. “Because you had something to do with the downfall of
him
.”

I swallowed hard. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“The Lily said as much… you and the Partington’s… that sodding ghost boy… it all adds up. You did
something
.” His voice dripped with indignation and resentment, he was livid that he’d been made to clean and somehow it was all my fault. His dark sunken eyes twitched. His thin lips chapped and curled inwards, skin pale and pasty, a green hue surrounding it — he looked like he hadn’t seen sunlight in years.

I backed away slowly as he came closer. “How could I do something? I’m a first year?”

Ross rolled up his sodden sleeves. “I’m not stupid Avis. I know you did something, by sheer bloody luck or whatever… and I’m gonna get to the bottom of it. Your just lucky our parents are too busy with this wedding to realise what’s going on.” His eyes looked dead and black. “
I
was supposed to go and work for him, soon as I left that awful school… but now look, I am at home… scrubbing bloody FLOORS! All because of
you
,” he began talking in a strange high voice, which scared me even more — “
Didn’t believe me did they

when I told them….
and now look at
ME
! All
your
fault… all
your
fault…” he repeated.

I backed round the corner slowly. I did not like the look in his eyes. “You’ve got it all
wrong
Ross.”

“I’m gonna make you
confess
to what you did. They will be able to read your mind and see that I am right.”

“No ones reading my mind,” I said, slowly putting the mop and bucket down. Ross raised his hands slowly. “Stop that,” I said. “Put your hands down.”

“I’ll tell all our brothers first. Get some of Harold’s
truth infusion
, make you confess. Then what do you think our parents will do about you? Or rather, do
to
you…” He cackled.

“They won’t do anything because I am innocent. Now put your hands down.”

Ross smiled. “No!” In less than a second, a bright red chain flew out of his hands at me.


Dancidious!
” I called, ducking as the chains shaved the top of my head. “Stop it Ross!
Stop it!
” But he wouldn’t. More red chains came flying towards me. “Dancidious!
Dancidious!
” I called in vain, for it made no difference! I ducked and dived out of the way. But it was time to run. I stood up and charged round the corner for the end of the corridor. There was a short golden flash beneath my eyes, I thought Ross has got me. But it wasn’t that at all… it was something much better… my Seven League Shoes, the ones I put on in the carriage had lit up gold! As I ran, my legs felt different and I noticed time change around me. It slowed down. I got to the end of the corridor in the blink of an eye. I turned around and saw Ross, in slow motion, his face contorted into mad fury, spells fizzing and popping as they exploded against pictures, expelling plumes of dust from the floor. Speeding down the next hallway, which was at least a hundred feet, I put one foot before the next and without thinking or doing anything, the shoes carried me all the way to the end. It felt like walking through treacle, little effort was expelled, yet they carried me that hundred feet in a second. It was magical. The golden fizzing light died down as the shoes stopped moving, corridors and hallways had passed me by in a blur… but now I was… god knows where. It was dark and high up, for the pictures on the wall were all of magical creatures that we hang in the turrets. How did I get all the way up here in a matter of seconds? Still, they’d probably just saved my life.

All I could see was darkness and… an open door with a faint orange glow. There was no where else to turn so I walked forwards.

It was one of the turrets, small and dusty, dim and dark.  Facing the fire was a high backed chair. A head of silvery hair just visible over the top.

“Come in boy,” said a barky voice. I froze, ice shards splintering my spine. The voice echoed softly around the turret. “Sit, sit…” beckoned a long bony hand.

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