Authors: Meredith Badger
Tags: #ebook, #book
want to live in a toadstool? Exactly. Neither would a fairy.
1. Although fairies are naturally very small (about the size of a ten-year-old's hand) they can stretch themselves up to human proportions using an Anatomical Resizing Machine. They have to do this every week, however, because fairies soon start shrinking back to their normal size.
2. Humans often live in the same streets as fairies without realising. This is just the way fairies like it. Imagine if humans knew that they had fairies living next door â they would be constantly hassling them to grant wishes and fix things. Fairies prefer to choose for themselves
wishes â and
wishes â they grant.
3. Most fairies aren't born knowing magic. They learn it at school. Then after three years' study, they receive their Fairy Licence which qualifies them to do spells.
4. To avoid being recognised, fairies keep their wings tucked away under their clothes or hidden in special wing-hiding backpacks. Sometimes, if you look carefully, you can see the slots in their clothes where the wings usually pop through.
5. There are boy fairies as well as girl fairies. Boy fairies can't fly or do magic but they are often excellent cooks. And here's a fairy fact that might really surprise you:
6. Not all fairies like being fairies.
Elly was one such fairy. She didn't just
being a fairy, she
it. She hated it more than paper cuts. More than cold baths. More than jam and anchovy sandwiches. What exactly did she hate about it? Everything. The stuff she was meant to wear. The things she was meant to learn. But most of all, she hated flying. Flying might look like fun but Elly found it tiring and boring. Besides, skateboarding was so much more fun.
Elly had spent a lot of time working on her skateboard. She only had the standard fairy model â the Star Grazer I â but it was even faster than a Star Grazer III because of all the extra work she'd done on it. She'd saved up for rainbow speed wheels that spun so fast they left a rainbow pattern behind them on the path. As a finishing touch, Elly had painted a cool silver comet across the board. Skateboarding was definitely Elly's favourite way to get around.
So the moment she got around the corner from her house Elly got her skateboard out of her bag. She was just about to ride off when she remembered what her mother had said: Catch the Fairy Flock to school.
The Flock was another thing Elly hated about being a fairy. It was the way most fairies got to school, travelling in one big group disguised as a cloud. The passengers had to wear cloud coats â floaty, white garments that looked like they were made from cotton-wool, with slots in the back for wings to stick through. As the Flock passed overhead, fairies waiting on the ground flew up to join it. From a distance the Flock looked just like a soft white cloud, drifting across the sky. Most humans wouldn't think twice about it. But then most humans aren't very observant. If they paid more attention they would notice that some clouds travel very rapidly across the sky. If they listened more carefully they might even hear voices seemingly coming from nowhere, saying things like âOw! Stop pushing!' and âWait ... this is my stop!'
Elly couldn't decide what to do. She knew she should do what her mum said, but catching the Flock was terrible. As she stood there deciding, she heard a voice behind her. Not a very pleasant voice.
âWell, if it isn't the fairy school drop-out,' it said. âThinking about travelling the
way today, are you?'
Without even looking Elly knew who it was. Gabilotta Cruddleperry, also known as Gabi. Gabi was Mossy Blossom's star pupil and one look at her explained why. Her hair was perfect, her cloud-coat was perfect and her neatly packed bag was undoubtedly filled with perfect homework. For some reason, Gabi had taken a dislike to Elly right from the first day of school. This might've been because Elly had accidentally made Gabi grow a big bushy moustache during their first spelling lesson. Elly had apologised, of course, and had removed the moustache (which curled up magnificently at the ends) the moment she worked out how. But things were never the same after that.
Seeing Gabi helped Elly make up her mind.
âActually,' said Elly, putting her skateboard on the ground again, âI'm going to ride.'
Gabi frowned. âIt's against the Fairy Code, you know.'
âOh yeah?' said Elly. âWhere does it say that?'
âPage 539, paragraph two,' replied Gabi. âIt says:
The only way in which a school-fairy
should travel to and from school is by flying or
. You should know that. After all, wasn't it one of your ancestors who wrote the Code in the first place?'
Elly shrugged. âMaybe.' It was hard to keep track of her family's achievements sometimes. They'd all done so much.
A puffy white cloud appeared on the horizon, moving fast. The Fairy Flock. It looked like a particularly wriggly, squirmy cloud today. Elly jumped on her skateboard.
âDon't get your wings scrunched!' Elly called to Gabi as she zoomed down the street. She didn't have to turn around to know that Gabi was watching her leave, shaking her head in disapproval.
hen Elly arrived at school, her friend Sapphire was waiting for her. Sapphire was the perfect name for her because she had the biggest, bluest eyes you could ever see. Elly sometimes teased her that she looked like the sort of fairy humans drew pictures of. Saphie was just as smart as Gabi but was much, much nicer.
âHi, Saphie!' said Elly, quickly shoving her skateboard in her bag.
âHi!' said Saphie. âDid you get my wandmessage? I sent one last night reminding you about this morning's spelling test.'
Elly fished out her wand, which was looking worse than ever. There were even some bite marks from where Kara had been chewing on it. Elly clicked a button and the wand whined unhappily. Finally, after a lot of spluttering, Saphie's face appeared in the centre of the star. She was urgently mouthing words but no sound was coming out.
âI think it's broken,' explained Elly, as Saphie's wand-message dissolved into static. She shook the wand again and it made a sloshing noise.
âI must have dropped it in the bath,' Elly frowned.
Saphie took the wand and checked how much power it had. It was almost empty. She looked at her friend and raised an eyebrow.
âIt'd probably help if you remembered to charge it up occasionally,' she grinned.
âYes,' agreed Elly ruefully. âThat's true.'
Before starting Fairy School, Elly had thought it would be cool to have a wand, but that was back when she thought all you needed to do was wave one around and say a few weird words for the magic to work. But it turned out that wands were much more complicated than that. It took lots of practice to make them work properly. They came with manuals that were almost as thick as the wands were high, and were about as easy to read as flying backwards through a hailstorm. Elly had lost her manual ages ago anyway, and ever since then she'd just been guessing how to use it. Guessing incorrectly most of the time, as it turned out.
Saphie tugged Elly's arm. âCome on,' said Saphie. âWe have to hurry. You know Mrs Clovercloud likes us to be early on spellingtest days.'
Elly snorted. âMrs Clovercloud likes us to be early
day. She also likes us to stay late. In fact, if she had her way we'd sleep in the classroom overnight.'
But Saphie was already in the air, wings fluttering.
âCome on,' she urged. âLet's go.'
The two girls flew around the corner and straight into something warm, squishy and lemon-coloured. For a moment, Elly thought they'd flown right into an enormous custard tart, but the reality was far less pleasant.
They'd flown right into Mrs Clovercloud. She frowned.
âFairies! What does the Fairy Code say about flying around corners?'
Elly sighed. The Fairy Code was the first book fairies received when they started school. It was three times as thick as the wand manual and, as far as Elly was concerned, even less interesting to read. It described how fairies were expected to behave and what to do in emergencies. By the end of three years at school, all fairies were supposed to know the Code back-to-front. It was even worse for Elly because some ancient relative of hers was supposedly one of the original authors, and so everyone thought that she already knew it back-to-front.
Luckily for Elly, Saphie knew the answer to Mrs Clovercloud's question.
âFairies must approach a corner at the lowest possible speed and should sound a warning with their wand,' she recited.
Mrs Clovercloud nodded. âRemember that next time, please. It's quite a coincidence that this morning's spelling test is on wand warning sounds, don't you think, fairies?'
Elly and Saphie reluctantly nodded. âYes, Mrs Clovercloud.'
âNow hurry up and get to class,' said their teacher, shooing them away. âI'll be there shortly.'
Elly's heart was beating rapidly as they flew off. This must be the spelling test Saphie tried to warn her about. Elly knew she was in trouble. She couldn't remember anything about wand warning sounds. She didn't even know her wand could
warning sounds. This was very bad â Elly couldn't afford to fail any more tests. Out of the four tests she'd had since arriving at Mossy Blossom, she'd failed
. The last one had been about making rainbows and Elly had failed it so badly that Mrs Clovercloud actually failed her twice.
âI've never seen an entirely black rainbow before,' she had said, shaking her head in disbelief.
âQuick, Saphie,' Elly whispered urgently as they slipped into their seats. âHow do I make warning sounds?'
Saphie pointed to the diamond-shaped button on the handle of her wand.
âPress this,' she said. âOnce for low level warnings, twice for medium and lots of times for an emergency. If you hold the button down, it sends out a wand-wide distress signal. Any wands nearby will immediately make the signal, too.'