Charlie found himself lying asleep in the hallway; he didn’t even make it out of his doorway before collapsing and falling asleep on the floor. He felt ashamed because he was dying to ask Paton about the history of the Bone family.
He also really wanted to confirm what he had somehow overheard while he was “in” Lady Arabeth’s sitting room.
“Charles Bone, what are you doing blocking the hallway?” A stern voice interrupted his thoughts. Grizelda was awake, and she was glaring at him with angry eyes. “Have you forgotten that you have a bedroom, young man?”
“Not since Manfred decided to sleep in it,” Charlie cried out. He refused to talk about their fight and the results from it.
“Indeed,” said Grizelda as she stared at her grandson, then reached out and yanked him onto his feet. “And do something about that mark on your face. It’s unbecoming of you.”
Mark? Charlie found himself rushing to the bathroom and checking the mirror for any signs of markings on his face. He shook his head and headed downstairs to get some food to eat.
Jacquel frowned as she began hearing the story about the Red King and how he came to the city from Africa. Lady Arabeth claimed that her family was descended from the Red King, as was many of the people living in the city.
She was sure that the people living in the city were nutters.
Lady Arabeth said to her, “Now, you must perform the spell of memories, in which you must put aside your old memories and form new ones.”
“How will I do that?” Jacquel cried out. “I don’t know anything about spellcasting.”
“What is the first rule of magic?” the old Lady turned to her. She remembered Nichollo drilling that rule into her head many times, especially after being caught doing her Hogwarts homework in the gardens of Trichenberg manor.
“Magic cannot be used to conjure up anything; it is handmade,” Jacquel said nervously.
“And you’re right,” said Lady Arabeth. “You cannot just pull things out of thin air. Anyone who tells you that you can is a liar. However, you can transfigure an object. Now watch!”
Jacquel could only stare as she saw the old witch (for Lady Arabeth was indeed a witch) tapped her cane onto the ground and a pear was transformed into a pear-shaped box. “Now do you understand the basics?”
“You just turned a pear into a box,” Jacquel cried out.
“Indeed I did,” said Lady Arabeth, “but the box looks like a pear. One thing to remember is that you must have the image of what you want already inside your head, or the end result will not be satisfactory. Now, what do you have on you right now that you can safely use for practice?”
“I have this,” said Jacquel as she pulled a huge ring off the middle finger of her right hand.
Lady Arabeth stared at the ring and said, “It will suffice. Now, imagine the ring as a box.”
Jacquel frowned and said, “What kind of box do you want me to have? Large or small?”
“Think for yourself, girl!” the old Lady snapped. “Now what kind of box do you need? Something for this scarf, perhaps.”
Jacquel gasped as she saw the scarf; it was the same pink scarf that she had bought at Kingdom’s only a few days earlier. She had worn it during the Children of the Red King‘s walk around the red tree and when she went to confront Harry. “Must the box have room for the scarf?” she asked.
“Think about the size of the scarf and you’ll have your answer,” said Lady Arabeth.
Jacquel folded the scarf, which wasn’t easy because the scarf was made from cotton and she usually favored silk scarves. When she could manage to fold it until it stay folded without unraveling itself, she thought about the box that the scarf could fit in. Only if the scarf was folded could it fit into the box.
Within a few moments, Jacquel had turned the ring into a box that the scarf could fit in. Lady Arabeth saw her progress and said, “Very good. Now you must perform the memory spell. This time, I want you to take a piece of your memory and place it into the scarf.”
“Do I write it down on paper and tie it into the scarf?” Jacquel cried out.
“I would advise against it,” said Lady Arabeth. “Anyone can take the box, open it, and read your memories. You must not let this happen at all.”
“So, should I remove all of my memories at once?” Jacquel asked.
“That too is inadvisable, as you could wind up brain-damaged or amnesiac,” said Lady Arabeth.
“So what memories do I remove then?” Jacquel asked.
“The memories you wish to abandon,” said Lady Arabeth. “I can tell you about the people I have met who have asked me to remove certain memories from them, and their memories fill up the pages of this book.” she pointed to a book in a corner of the room. “And if you read the name of the person who signed the book, the person will recover their memories.”
“So, what if I write my name in the book?” Jacquel asked.
“Then whatever memories you wish to lose will be locked away in the book forever, until someone chooses to read your name,” said Lady Arabeth. She tapped her cane again, and the book of memories appeared on the table. “Now, what memories do you wish to banish from your mind?”
Charlie had eaten breakfast and was just getting dressed when Amy walked into the room and saw him. “Your grandmother told me that you fell and bruised your face.”
“I did not,” said Charlie.
“Charlie, have you gotten into any fights with Manfred?” Amy frowned.
“What are you talking abou—” Charlie gasped as he looked into the mirror and saw a huge bruise covering the entire left side of his face. “Oh my…”
“You need an ice pack and you need to lie down,” Maisie said as soon as she saw Charlie. “Something isn’t right with you at all.”
Charlie sighed and returned to his room, where Manfred laughed at him saying, “What happened, Bonehead? Did you fall off the wrong side of the bed this morning?”
“Oh shut up!” Charlie snapped at him. But he knew that he still needed to talk to Manfred about that incident.
- Summer Reading: Liesl and Po (curiouslyquestioning.org)
- Books I Wish I’d Written (dragonflydithers.wordpress.com)
- My Book Boyfriends by Kirsty Maclennan (victorialovesbooks.wordpress.com)