That night at dinner, Charlie remained unusually quiet. He watched as the others chatted while eating their food, keeping an eye on Manfred. The other boy had not said two words to Charlie since that incident and it looked like there was no communication going on between them.
Just then, Manfred turned his head to Charlie and snapped, “I’d like to know what’s going on here, Charlie Bone.”
“What are you talking about?” Charlie said to Manfred.
“You and I haven’t spoken since the incident,” said Manfred, “and I want to know why.”
Charlie glanced around him, but the other adults were talking and not taking any notice of him. Benjamin was speaking to Maisie and Amy and Lyell and Paton were also talking. Charlie then said to Manfred, “I just figured you needed…a little space since the tragedy and all…”
“A little space? Is that all?” Manfred snapped as he stared at Charlie. “What do you take me for? Some sappy sad little boy? I’m a man, thank you very much!”
He got up and stormed away from the table as Charlie whispered “sorry“. Luckily, no one had witnessed the incident or Charlie would have to answer some rather difficult questions regarding Manfred.
Later that night, Charlie knocked on his door and said, “Manfred? You in there?”
“What’s it to you, Bone-head?” Manfred snapped at him.
“Manfred, you’re not being yourself,” said Charlie. “Aren’t you the least bit sad about your father?”
“What are you talking about?” Manfred snapped. “He never cared about me or anything like that. Ezekiel was no better. Between the two of them, they caused more damage to the school than that fake wizard did.”
“Your point is?” Charlie snapped.
“My point is that you’re stupid, Charlie Bone,” Manfred snapped at him. “You don’t know what it’s like to have a cruel relative. Or maybe you do. That’s not the point here. The point is that you really need to watch who you’re feeling sorry for. They might not like that at all.”
“Billy and Emma are orphans and despite what your father did to them, they turned out OK,” said Charlie. “You’ll never know.”
“I do know,” said Manfred, “and there’s one thing that you may have forgotten about my father: I’ve known him longer than you have. He used my endowments to get what he wanted.”
“When last I checked, you were in on his schemes as well,” said Charlie. “I recall you and your father holding your mother prisoner when she refused to give up her fortune. I know all about how you wanted to hurt Henry Yewbeam and keep my dad trapped forever. I know a whole lot more about your father than you think I do.”
“Charlie, what my father did, you should know how our family is,” said Manfred. “The Bloors were always evil; they were descended from Borlath. He was known as a cruel and sadistic tyrant.”
“There are some who are good who come from that line,” Charlie protested.
“How little do you know, Charlie,” Manfred shrugged as he sat back down on the bed. “How little do you know. You might think we can wash out wickedness, but it’s here to stay. You may be good, but what if you have a wicked grandchild? You are descended from two wicked families, Charlie Bone. You can’t escape from it. It’s bound to happen whether you want it to or not.”
Charlie frowned, knowing he had already heard that line before. The descendants of the Red King would be forever connected to each other no matter what era the world was in. All he had to do was to figure out how to deal with it. Manfred stretched himself out on the bed and stared gloomily at the ceiling. He was the last scion of the Bloor family and in knowing that, the Yewbeams would no doubt be searching for a girl who would marry him. An endowed girl, that was.
Jacquel found herself frowning as she sat in the huge dining hall. Jason and his children were speaking to Lady Arabeth Chulsky, who had cut an impressive figure, even as she was nearing the age of 70.
Lady Arabeth was saying, “I am unsure about Venetia Yewbeam, but at least she is endowed. The entire Yewbeam family is a bit “cracked“, so to speak. How do we know their intentions are good?”
“They are planning to take over Bloor’s Academy since the Bloor family was killed off,” said Jason.
“Yet, there is one still lives, one who will continue what his family began,” said Lady Arabeth.
“He’s unworthy,” said Jason, “endowed but unworthy. He can’t even stop goodness from spreading like a disease and he is constantly overpowered by a younger boy…”
“That Charlie Bone,” said Lady Arabeth. “I know all about him. I know about his family as well. In fact, did you know that his father, Lyell Bone, is the descendant of an Ita Raven?”
“Raven?” Jacquel asked, then seeing Lady Arabeth staring at her, she said, “what are you speaking about?”
“I’m going to give you a history lesson, girl, one you will take with you when you enter Bloor’s Academy,” said Lady Arabeth.
“I’m going to enter the academy?” she cried out. “I thought…”
“Bloor’s Academy may not have belonged to the Bloors, per se,” said Lady Arabeth, “but it did start with them. Septimus Bloor first owned the school and everything with it, then he passed it all to his sister, Maybelle. She eventually left everything to her son, Daniel Raven. Daniel had two children, Hugh and Ita. Ita, being the eldest, had married a man named Simon Bone in 1899…”
“Bone? Did you just say Bone?” Jacquel said. “Then you must be talking about Charlie’s family.”
“Indeed,” said Lady Arabeth. “Now, Ita and Simon had a son named Eamon, who married a woman named Clara Lyell and they had a son named Montague. Montague Bone married Grizelda Yewbeam and they had a son named Lyell. After Montague’s tragic death, he left everything to Lyell and his descendants.”
“Which includes Charlie,” said Jacquel. “Now how do you know all of this?”
“I have been researching the many descendants of the Red King for many years,” said Lady Arabeth. “I know the names of all the endowed. You are not a child of the Red King, but you have magic inside you.”
“Which is leaving me,” said Jacquel. “If it leaves me, then I will be a useless non-entity. I’ll never be able to function in society.”
“This is where I come in, you silly girl,” said Lady Arabeth. “Of course the magic must go; you were not meant to have it at all. That kind of magic wizards and witches claim to possess is not fit for a spellcaster such as yourself.”
“So I’m a spellcaster?” Jacquel said. “Well, in that case, this changes everything.”
“It does,” said Jason, “and when my aunt is finished, they will never find you, and even if they do, they won’t recognize you at all. You’ll be safe here and you will live the life you was meant to live.”
Charlie sat up in bed, gasping for breath. He noticed a strange picture in his hand; the picture was of an old lady who was around Grizelda’s age. Had I been looking at the picture he thought to himself.
He tried to recall what had exactly happened: he saw an old lady telling a young girl about a family. His family. He was descended from the Bloor and Raven families. He did not know that until now.
Knowing Paton was still awake, Charlie hopped out of bed and raced to the door leading to Paton’s room. He had some questions that needed answering.
- The Time Twister by Jenny Nimmo – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Does Age Matter? (yarush.com)
- The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Clip Shows Teenagers, Demons, and a Castle (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Simplicity (stephbranson.wordpress.com)
- Premiere presents Vampire Academy Teaser Trailer (fansofvampireacademy.wordpress.com)
- Book review: The perks of being a wallflower (seejy.wordpress.com)
- Vampire Academy (tralogoam05.wordpress.com)
- Forbes Talks What Separates DIVERGENT or City of Bones from Twilight or The Hunger Games! (divergentfaction.wordpress.com)
- What it Means to be “Tween” (emblazoners.wordpress.com)